Aortic Valve Surgery

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The night before, you will be asked to bathe to cleanse or disinfect your skin. Preparation for surgery may include:. Surgical valve repairs and replacements are done under a general anesthetic so you will be asleep throughout the operation. During conventional surgery, the surgeons will stop your heart while they work on the valve or valves. You will be hooked up to a heart-lung machine that takes over the pumping action of your heart, so that your body continues to receive a flow of oxygen-rich blood.

If you have minimally invasive surgery, your heart will not be stopped and a heart-lung machine will not be used. Your hospital stay will probably be shorter and your recovery quicker than conventional open-heart surgery.

Heart valve surgery

Going home. When you return home, keep an eye on your incisions. Some bruising is normal, but contact your doctor if you experience:. Cardiac rehab is a personalised program of exercise, education and counselling to help you recover from heart valve disease.


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Rehab will help you regain your strength and reduce your risk of having other heart problems in the future. Talk to your doctor about how to find a program in your area or contact your public health department or hospital. The Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation also has a cardiac rehabilitation program directory to help you find a program in your community. Healthy choices can help you manage heart disease. Learn how to:. Watch our valvular heart disease webinar to hear researchers and people living with the disease discuss its causes, symptoms and treatment.

HealthLinkBC also offers resources and information. The Ottawa Heart Institute produces a patient and family guide that talks about preparing for the procedure, what to expect in the hospital, going home and tips for living with your new aortic valve. What you can expect after your heart surgery from Hamilton Health Sciences outlines some typical things that you can expect while you are in the hospital. Edwards Lifesciences Canada Inc has no direct influence over any aspect of the content and educational activities funded by this grant.

What is heart disease? What is heart valve surgery? Why is it done? What is done? Surgical valve repair Surgical procedures are generally used for problems with the mitral or tricuspid valves. Commissurotomy is a treatment for a tight valve. The valve flaps leaflets are cut to loosen the valve slightly, allowing blood to pass easily.

Annuloplasty is done for a leaky valve.

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There is a ring of fibrous tissue at the base of the heart valve called the annulus. To repair an enlarged annulus, sutures are sewn around the ring to make the opening smaller. Or, a ring-like device is attached around the outside of the valve opening to support the valve so it can close more tightly. Valvulotomy is a procedure to enlarge narrowed heart valves.

It can also be done with the help of a balloon.

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Non-surgical valve repair Percutaneous or catheter-based procedures are done without any incisions in the chest or stopping the heart. A balloon tip on the end of the catheter is positioned in the narrowed valve and inflated to enlarge the opening. Percutaneous mitral valve repair methods - such as edge-to-edge repair - can fix a leaky mitral valve in a patient who is considered high risk for surgery.


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A catheter holding a clip is inserted into the groin and up into the left side of the heart. The open clip is positioned beyond the leaky valve and then pulled back so it catches the flaps leaflets of the mitral valve. Once closed, the clip holds the leaflets together and stops the valve from leaking. Heart valve replacement If your heart valve is too badly damaged to be repaired, surgery may be needed to replace it with a new mechanical or biological valve.

Mechanical valves made of long-lasting metals, carbon, ceramics and plastic were the first to be used in valve replacement surgery. They have been refined and improved since being introduced in the s. The major advantage of a mechanical valve is durability — they can last a long time. A fabric ring is used to sew the valve to heart tissue. Mechanical valves can lead to blood clots which may in turn cause a heart attack or stroke.

The native original valve is removed and a new valve is sewn to the annulus of your native valve. The new valve can either be mechanical or biological.

Aortic valve surgery - minimally invasive: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

At Cleveland Clinic, the majority of aortic valves are replaced with a bioprosthesis. Biological valves also called tissue or bioprosthetic valves are made of tissue, but they may also have some artificial parts to provide additional support and allow the valve to be sewn in place.

Biological valves can be made from pig tissue porcine , cow tissue pericardial bovine , or pericardial tissue from other species. These valves are safe to insert, durable lasting from 15 to 20 years , and allow patients to avoid lifetime use of anticoagulants blood thinning medications.


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At the Cleveland Clinic the risk of death is less than one percent for isolated aortic valve replacement and has consistently been better than predicted mortality based on the Society of Thoracic Surgeons STS national data. A homograft is an aortic or pulmonic valve that has been removed from a donated human heart, preserved, treated with antibiotics, and frozen under sterile conditions. Mechanical valves are made completely of mechanical parts, which are non-reactive and tolerated well by the body. The bileaflet valve is used most often.

It consists of two pyrolite qualities similar to a diamond carbon leaflets in a ring covered with polyester knit fabric. All patients with mechanical valve prostheses need to take an anticoagulant medication, warfarin Coumadin , for the rest of their life to reduce the risk of blood clotting and stroke. This increases the risk of bleeding. The Ross operation is usually performed on patients under age 30 who want to avoid lifetime use of anticoagulants blood thinning medications after surgery.

Heart Valve Surgery - "Valve Surgery"

During this procedure, the patient's normal pulmonary valve is removed and used to replace the diseased aortic valve. The pulmonary valve is then replaced with a pulmonary homograft. The Ross procedure leaves two valves at potential risk of later failure. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission.

We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Aortic Valve Surgery: Procedure Details. Appointments How is aortic valve disease treated? Find out if aortic surgery is right for you. Aortic valve surgery There are two types of aortic valve surgery: aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement. Traditional Aortic Valve Surgery During traditional aortic valve surgery, a surgeon makes a 6- to 8-inch incision down the center of your sternum, and part or all of the sternum breastbone is divided to provide direct access to your heart.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is a type of aortic valve repair surgery performed through smaller, 2- to 4-inch incisions without opening your whole chest. Aortic valve repair While the aortic valve is usually replaced, aortic valve repair may be an option. Bicuspid aortic valve repair A bicuspid aortic valve may be repaired by reshaping the aortic valve leaflets allowing the valve to open and close more completely.