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COMPLETE AND COMPREHENSIVE Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

What Is Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

A heart valve replacement is a surgical procedure to treat conditions associated with the heart valve. The heart is constituted of four pumping chambers: two upper chambers (Atria) and two lower chambers (Ventricles). Valves ensure regular blood flow through the heart. However, when the valves are damaged or diseased, the doctor may recommend heart valve surgery.

During a heart valve procedure, the surgeon repairs or replaces the defective valve(s). Replacing the heart valve can be achieved either by minimally invasive surgery or open heart valve replacement. Cardiologists recommend different types of heart valve procedures depending on the age, medical health of the patient, and severity of the condition.


What Are The Different Types of Heart Valve Replacement Procedures?

Depending on the symptoms of the defective heart valve, the cardiologists may recommend open heart valve surgery and a minimally invasive procedure to either repair or replace the heart valves. Additionally, types of heart valve replacement procedures include - 

  • Annuloplasty - This procedure is done to tighten or reshape the annulus (ring-shaped leaflets around the valve) and prevent blood leaks.
  • Valvuloplasty - This procedure is done to repair a heart valve with a narrowed opening to improve blood flow through the heart valve.

When Should I Consult The Doctor For A Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Heart valve surgery can be done to treat different disorders associated with the heart valves. Different issues associated with heart valves include narrowing of the valve (stenosis) or a leak in the valve which can allow the blood to flow backwards. Usually, there are signs and symptoms which can indicate a defect in the heart valve(s) - 

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain (Angina)
  • Breathing issues
  • Palpitations
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or abdomen
  • Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention

How To Prepare For Heart Valve Surgery?

Before the procedure, the doctor will provide you with a set of instructions to help you prepare for the surgery and prevent the chances of complications. Here are a few pre-surgery tips which can ensure a smooth surgery experience -

  • Discuss your history of medical condition(s) and surgical procedures with the cardiologist
  • Stop smoking and consuming alcohol a week before the surgery as they can increase the recovery time
  • Inform your doctor in case you have a history of bleeding disorders
  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes which do not put pressure on the surgical site
  • Do not eat or drink 8 to 9 hours prior to the surgery. It is generally recommended to not take any meal post-midnight. 
  • Inform your doctor of any ongoing medications and history of an allergic reaction to anesthesia to avoid complications during the surgery
  • Take antibiotics or prescribed medications prior to the surgery as directed by the doctor
  • Once prepared, you or your guardian needs to sign a consent form that gives full authority to proceed with the procedure. So be sure to resolve all your queries regarding the procedure.

What Happens During The Heart Valve Procedure?

Heart valve surgery aims to restore blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body through surgical intervention. Depending on the type of problem, the doctor may recommend a heart valve repair or replacement procedure. However, doctors often recommend repairing the heart valve when possible to preserve it. In severe cases, valve replacement becomes inevitable.

The patient is given anesthesia before the procedure to ensure a painless procedure. The surgeon can either perform open heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure to replace or repair the heart valve. A minimally invasive procedure involves keyhole incisions in the chest through which the surgeon inserts his medical instruments. Heart valve repair surgery involves the following - 

  • Patching the holes in defective valve(s)
  • Reconnecting valve flaps and removing the excess valve tissue 
  • Ensuring the leaflets or cusps are closed tightly
  • Increasing the structural support by replacing cords that support the valve
  • Separating the fused valve flaps and tightening the ring around the valve (annulus)

In the case of a heart valve replacement procedure, the surgeon can perform aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve). Additionally, open heart valve replacement is being replaced with modern surgical methods like - 

  • Mechanical valve replacement technique
  • Tissue valve replacement technique
  • Ross Procedure 
  • TAVI/TAVR procedure

Recovering After the Heart Valve Procedure

After the procedure, you will be shifted to the recovery room where the doctor will monitor your recovery process. A medical team will keep a check on your vitals such as blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, etc., and watch for signs of infections. Subsequently, the doctor will also give you dietary tips and preventive measures for a swift and smooth recovery. Here are some recovery tips which can help you prevent complications after the surgery - 

  • Encourage a healthy diet 
  • Keep yourself physically active
  • Manage stress
  • Do not consume alcohol and tobacco products

Why Choose BM Birla for Heart Valve Replacement Treatment in Kolkata?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre is a super specialty hospital with modern infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology in Kolkata. BM Birla Heart Research Centre is the only hospital offering super specialty cardiac care in the entire eastern India. With a 200+ bed capacity, cardiac rehabilitation services, cath labs, and modular OTs, BM Birla Heart Research Centre has made a mark with its singular focus on the treatment of a variety of cardiac ailments. Here are a few advantages of choosing BM Birla Heart Research Centre for heart valve replacement treatment in Kolkata:

  • Highly qualified and experienced cardiologists
  • Cutting-edge technology and the latest medical equipment
  • Transparent pricing structure for cost-effective treatment. 
  • Patient-centric high-quality care for a high success rate

Get in touch with our expert heart specialists at BM Birla Heart Research Centre, Kolkata for complete cardiac care. 


Whom should I consult for my Heart Valve Replacement treatment?

Get in touch with a cardiologist in case you are experiencing symptoms of a defective heart valve. Cardiologists specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the heart. Since heart valve defects are common in older people, it is advisable to consult a cardiologist who specializes in treating patients with comorbidities to ensure negligible chances of complications.

Can a heart valve be replaced without open heart surgery?

Yes, minimally invasive procedures are an effective alternative to the open heart valve replacement method. Minimally invasive techniques offer minute incisions, faster recovery, and almost negligible chances of complications. Discuss your condition with the doctor to know the best option for heart valve surgery.

Are there any complications of undergoing a heart valve replacement surgery?

Heart valve replacement surgery is a major procedure that restores blood flow in the body. However, depending on the severity of the condition and medical health of the patient, there are rare chances of complications - 

Abnormal bleeding
Blood clots can lead to heart attack, stroke, etc.
Breathing issues
Increased chances of recurrence


Anita Das

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