Blood that flows between different chambers of your heart must flow through a heart valve. Blood that flows out of your heart into large arteries must flow through a heart valve.
These valves open up enough so that blood can flow through. They then close, keeping blood from flowing backward.
DescriptionBefore your surgery you will receive general anesthesia. You will be asleep and unable to feel pain.
In open surgery, the surgeon makes a large surgical cut in your breastbone to reach the heart and aorta. Most people are connected to a heart-lung bypass machine or bypass pump. Your heart is stopped while you are connected to this machine. This machine does the work of your heart while your heart is stopped.
Minimally invasive valve surgery is done through much smaller cuts than open surgery.
Several different techniques are used:
Laparoscopy or endoscopy
Percutaneous surgery (through the skin)
If your surgeon can repair your valve, you may have:
Ring annuloplasty — The surgeon repairs the ring-like part around the valve by sewing a ring of metal, cloth, or tissue around the valve.
Valve repair — The surgeon trims, shapes, or rebuilds one or more of the leaflets of the valve. The leaflets are flaps that open and close the valve.
If your valve is too damaged, you will need a new valve. This is called valve replacement surgery. Your surgeon will remove your valve and put a new one in place.
The main types of new valves are:
Mechanical — made of man-made materials, such as metal (stainless steel or titanium) or ceramic. These valves last the longest, but you will need to take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, for the rest of your life.
Biological — made of human or animal tissue. These valves last 12 – 15 years, but you may not need to take blood thinners for life.
In some cases, surgeons can use your own pulmonary valve to replace the damaged aortic valve. The pulmonary valve is then replaced with an artificial valve (this is called the Ross Procedure). This procedure is ideal for people who do not want to take blood thinners for the rest of their life.
How long does it take to recover from heart valve repair surgery?
four to eight weeks
What to expect after heart valve surgery?
The normal recovery time after a heart valve surgery is usually four to eight weeks, and may be shorter after minimally invasive surgeries.
When a person’s aortic stenosis becomes severe, the average survival rate without surgical intervention is only 50 percent after two years and only 20 percent after five years. Evidence is also clear that with proper treatment, most people enjoy a return to good health and add many years to their life.
Does your personality change after open heart surgery?
Although this condition, often referred to as “pumphead,” is usually short-lived, one study of bypass patients has suggested that the associated cognitive changes might worsen over time. Related research, however, indicates it is unlikely that cardiac surgery significantly alters how the brain works.
What is the most common complication after open heart surgery?
chest wound infection (more common in patients with obesity or diabetes, or those who’ve had a CABG before) heart attack or stroke. irregular heartbeat. lung or kidney failure.