Aortic Valve stenosis is a progressive disease of the heart wherein the opening of the aortic valve begins to narrow, thereby making the heart work harder to pump blood through the small opening. People having aortic valve stenosis may develop symptoms like chest pain, an abnormal heart rhythm, fainting, and in extreme cases may experience cardiac arrest or heart failure.
For many years, the diseased aortic valve was being treated by open heart surgery to allow the normal flow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. But this invasive approach was associated with risks and complications.
Later, TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) came up as a breakthrough in interventional cardiology. TAVI surgery is a minimally-invasive procedure that has become popular among patients with severe aortic stenosis, particularly those who are at high risk from the conventional surgical procedure.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation has opened up new possibilities for the patient with aortic valve stenosis.
People can consider the following benefits if they wish to undergo TAVI surgery:
In traditional open-heart surgery, a long cut (about a 10-inch incision) is made through the chest to expose the heart. This can result in a lot of blood loss and trauma to the underlying muscles and tissues in the chest. Moreover, the patient would be required to be put on a heart-lung bypass machine to temporarily stop the heart beating and allow the flow of blood through the machine until the diseased valve is replaced.
In contrast, Transcatheter Valve Implantation involves making a small incision in the ribs or close to the groin area. Through the opening, a catheter (a long flexible tube fitted with an inflatable balloon) is inserted to guide the surgeon through the aorta to the aorta arch and finally into the narrow aortic valve. Another catheter with a replacement valve is threaded into the same path through the access point. When the balloon is inflated, the stenotic aortic valve is widened which allows the replacement valve to be placed in its destined position. The stenotic aortic valve is not removed instead the new naturally made valve (using tissues from the heart of cow or pig) is nudged to the same place to carry out its function. Thus there is no blood loss or injury caused to the skin or of the muscles of the chest. The procedure can take place without the need for a heart-lung bypass machine.
As the TAVI surgeon in Kolkata makes only a small incision, instead of the cut opening the chest, there are fewer chances of getting infected. The patients feel less pain and discomfort and have comfortable breathing. Also, they will have a minimal scar.
As the patients are not placed on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine during the TAVI procedure, their heart does not stop beating, this eliminates the chances of them having any complications. They do not carry possible risks like bruising at the incision site, blood clotting, injury to the access artery, infection, bleeding, kidney failure, and heart attack.
Usually, the patients who have undergone TAVI surgery can go back home within 48 hours or 3-5 days after the surgery depending upon their healing. People who are planning to go to work or return to their normal life can do so sooner with this procedure.
The operated site can heal faster because of a small incision and less trauma caused to the structures of the chest. Patients often find this procedure less painful which means they require less use of pain relievers. This enables them to quickly return to their normal routine lifestyle but with some modifications.
As the aortic valve of the heart is widened and is working properly, the normal amount of oxygen-rich blood can flow to the entire body. This makes the patients feel much better and has more energy to do daily activities.
The fear and anxiety before and after a TAVI surgery are low as compared to open-heart surgery.
To avail the benefits of TAVI surgery, schedule an appointment with the expert heart doctors at the best heart hospital in Kolkata of BM Birla Heart Research Centre.