If you have any heart valve disease, your heart starts working less efficiently because blood can’t flow through the heart well enough, and as a result there’s additional strain in your heart. So, people with heart disease often suffer from exhaustion, breathlessness, pain in chest and swollen ankles. With the help of heart valve surgery you’ll be able to do away with or get better mentioned above symptoms because it treats leaking or narrowed valves.
With the help of heart valve surgery you’ll be able to do away with or get better mentioned above symptoms because it treats leaking or narrowed valves.
Take such medicine as, for example, diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, digoxin to ease your symptoms if you have mild heart valve disease. Discuss options to heart valve surgery with your doctor.
How to prepare for heart valve surgery?
Actually, your surgeon will give you some advice, for example, you must give up smoking because it enlarges the danger of getting a chest or wound infection. As for hospital, the usual time of your staying there is about 10 – days and the operation is typically done under general anaesthesia.
Before the operation you’ll have to pass such tests as urine test, heart rate, blood pressure, a breathing test to check the lung function, an X-ray, and ECG (electrocardiogram) or echocardiogram. Moreover, before the operation you must neither eat nor drink for six hours. Your GP may prescribe you to wear compression stockings to sustain the circulation and heparin injection (anti-clotting medicine).
Actually, heart valve surgery usually takes about three hours. During the operation to reach your heart a surgeon will make a cut about 25cm long down the center of the sternum.
To mend the valve the surgeon can use some ways:
- the surgeon may just repair the valve if it isn’t badly harmed;
- If the valve is narrow, it can be broadened;
- to reinforce the valve the surgeon may place an artificial ring be added;
- and, of course, the valve can be replaced if is badly damaged.
Nowadays clinics can offer two types of artificial (prosthetic) valves.
They are either mechanical or biological ones. While mechanical valves are made of carbon fibre, biological valves are produced from human or animal tissue. Mechanical valves can be used for a very long period of time, while you’ll have to change biological valves every 8 – 10 years. Though, some people who have mechanical valves claim they hear a clicking sound, nevertheless, the majority of people get used to this very rapidly.
Keyhole surgery or percutaneous valve replacement?
Keyhole or minimally invasive surgery is the operation when a surgeon uses a camera for the period of the operation to pass through very little cuts with special instruments.
Percutaneous valve replacement is the operation when a surgeon passes a tube through an artery or in a groin, or a vein in the leg to change the valve.