Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery: Purpose, Procedure,Risk
If certain things go wrong with that valve, your doctor may recommend that you have Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery to replace it.
Aortic Valve Problems
You might have trouble with your aortic valve because of a problem you were born with. Or, it could be from wear and tear over the years, or because of another health condition, like a heart infection.
Any of these issues can lead to:
Regurgitation, when the valve doesn’t close all the way and blood flows backward into the heart
Stenosis, when the opening of the valve gets too narrow and not enough blood flows out
Replacement Aortic Valves
There are two main types.
Mechanical valves are carbon, metal, or plastic. They last long but boost your chances of having blood clots. You’ll have to take drugs called blood thinners for the rest of your life. Your doctor will check your med levels often because too little won’t help with clots, but too much could cause heavy bleeding, especially after an injury.
Biological valves come from animal tissue. They last 10-20 years. That’s not as long as mechanical valves, but they don’t lead to clots and you won’t need blood thinners.
You and your doctor should talk about the pros and cons of each type, and what’s best for you.
- Makes a 6- to 8-inch opening in your chest
- Splits open your breastbone
- Stops your heart and hooks you up to a heart-lung machine, which takes over pumping your blood
- Takes out the damaged valve and puts in a new one
- Restarts your heart and closes up your chest
While it usually means a shorter hospital stay, less pain, and maybe a faster recovery, minimally invasive surgery won’t work for everyone. It’s usually recommended for people if open-heart surgery is too risky. Your doctor will recommend the operation that’s best for you.
Preparing for the Operation
To make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery, you’ll get:
Tell your doctor about any medicines or supplements you take, including:
- Herbal or natural medicines
- Drugs you buy “over the counter” (meaning that they don’t need a prescription)
- Prescription medicines
The night before surgery, you’ll likely need to wash with a special soap that your doctor provides to kill germs. And in most cases, you won’t be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight.
What Are the Risks of Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery?
Most people do well with this surgery. Like any operation, though, it can lead to problems, including:
- Bleeding after surgery
- Blood clots
- Heart rhythm gets thrown off for a while
- Kidney problems that may last for a few days after surgery
- New valve doesn’t work or wears out over time
Call your doctor if you notice any of these signs during your recovery:
- Fever of 100.4 F or higher
- Pain, redness, or swelling around the wound gets worse
- Pus or other fluid coming from the wound
- Shortness of breath that gets worse
- Symptoms you had before surgery, like chest pain or dizziness, come back
Disclaimer: This article has been taken from https://www.webmd.com/ as it is. Click here to read the original article.