Article Side

Online Article Directory!

Hello Guest! Login or Register to submit articles!

All about Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

By Alexis Scotts Subscribe to RSS | May 9th 2012 | Views:
loading
 
  



Your heart is basically a pump with four valves that keep your blood flowing in the right direction at the proper rate. With each heartbeat, your valves open and close. But if something has caused your valves not to open or close properly, you may be a candidate for heart valve replacement surgery.

Valves can become damaged through disease or aging. When the valve does not open properly, the problem may be stenosis – an abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve. You need the valve to open properly so the right amount of blood can pump through it. If the valve doesn’t close properly, the condition is called regurgitation, which is a problem because the blood leaks back into other parts of the heart. The type of treatment your doctor will recommend depends on the heart valve involved and the type and severity of the valve disease:

Aortic valve disease

Mitral valve disease

Pulmonary valve disease

Tricuspid valve disease

Some of the tests and procedures that your doctor may order to assess the condition of your heart include:

resting and exercise electrocardiogram (ECG)

Holter monitor

signal-averaged ECG

cardiac catheterization

chest X-ray

computed tomography (CT scan) of the chest

echocardiography

electrophysiological studies

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the heart

myocardial perfusion scans

radionuclide angiography

ultrafast CT scan

The doctor may decide that the diseased valve can be repaired using a ring that supports your original valve. Or the decision may be to remove the entire valve and replace it with an artificial valve. Artificial mechanical valves are made of metal or plastic or tissue from animal valves. Doctors also use human valves taken from cadavers.

Years ago, this type of procedure meant open-heart surgery. There was no other way to get to your heart than by opening your chest, cutting the breastbone or sternum in half and spreading it apart. Once the heart was exposed, the doctor would insert large tubes into the heart that pump the blood through your body during the surgery. The tubes, part of a cardiopulmonary bypass machine, keep the blood flowing while the doctor stops your heart to replace or repair the valve.

Today, there is often another alternative – minimally invasive heart surgery. The cardiac surgeon is able to make small incisions in the right side of your chest, instead of opening up your chest cavity, to get to the heart. The surgeon maneuvers to work between the ribs. The result is a far less painful recovery and a quicker recovery. The surgeon will still have to stop your heart to repair or replace the valve, but with this less-invasive procedure, the doctor actually has a better view of some parts of your heart than in the more invasive approach.

You need to talk to your doctor to find out if minimally invasive heart surgery is an option for you. Generally speaking, people who have already undergone heart surgery or have certain heart diseases will not be a candidate for less invasive heart surgery.

Symptoms

So how do you know if there is a problem with your heart? Usually a person with a damaged or diseased heart valve will experience the following symptoms:

Dizziness

Chest pain

Difficulty breathing

Heart palpitations

Swelling of the feet, ankles, or abdomen

Rapid weight gain due to fluid retention

Risks associated with heart valve replacement

No surgery is without its risks, including heart valve replacement. These risks can include, but are not limited to:

Bleeding during or after the surgery

Blood clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, or lung problems

Infection at the incision site

Pneumonia

Breathing problems

Abnormal heart rhythms

What to expect after the procedure

You can expect to remain closely monitored for several days, including time spent in the intensive care unit. Your doctor will keep you connected to monitors that constantly monitor your heart, blood pressure, breathing rate and oxygen level.

It is important that during this time that you cough and take deep breaths. While this may not feel very comfortable because you are sore from the surgery, it is extremely important so mucus doesn’t lodge in your lungs and cause pneumonia. And of course, you will be offered pain medication to help keep you comfortable.

Do not expect to come out and eat a four-course meal. You will start with a liquid diet and advance to more solid foods as you can tolerate them. Gradually, as you recover, you will be moved to a room and encouraged to get out of bed and walk the floor.

When it is time to go home, your doctor will give you specific advice regarding activity, medications and wound care. You probably will not be able to drive for a period of time. Follow your doctor’s advice and return for all follow-up visits.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. All medical information presented should be discussed with your healthcare professional. Remember, the failure to seek timely medical advice can have serious ramifications. We urge you to discuss any current health related problems you are experiencing with a healthcare professional immediately.

Alexis Scotts - About Author:
Alexis Scotts is a freelance writer who writes about a variety of health topics including heart valve replacement surgery.

Share on Facebook Tweet It Stumbleupon this post This post is delicious !

Article Source:
http://www.articleside.com/health-articles/all-about-heart-valve-replacement-surgery.htm

Related Health Articles Subscribe to RSS

Hip and knee replacement in India
Published by Nathan Jone on December 15th 2011 | Health
Medical tourism and India are acquiring new heights by the day. People from across the globe have re...
 
How to improve eyesight via laser surgery: the basics of the procedure
Published by Godwin on July 12th 2012 | Health
There are methods ways advocated by ophthalmologists for individuals willing to learn more about how...
 
Cosmetic surgery – a boon in disguise
Published by Torontofacialplastic on January 27th 2012 | Health
Cosmetic surgery is not only done to bring a proper shape to your face but sometimes also done to re...
 
Cosmetic and non cosmetic surgery facilities in Dubai
Published by Agnes Paul on January 15th 2012 | Health
Dubai health department is very attractive for the medical tourists as well as for local people. Cos...
 
Aesthetic surgery: Look young and beautiful with cosmetic surgery
Published by Belredcosmetic on April 26th 2012 | Health
The trend of cosmetic surgery especially aesthetic surgery is high on demand. The evolution of cosme...
 
Avoid surgery and Save Money by Visiting the Pain Clinic Calgary
Published by Calgaryphy on January 11th 2012 | Health
Some of you may think that only certain groups of people like sports personality and persons who are...
 
Overseas plastic surgery
Published by Amber Dorsch on January 21st 2012 | Health
There is not anything bad in going to any other country for surgical treatments if you can save mone...
 
5 Things you should know before you get Breast Augmentation surgery in Houston
Published by Timeless Plastic Surgery on March 29th 2012 | Health
Breast augmentation in Houston is the most common type of cosmetic surgery performed. Houston hosts ...
 
Factors to consider during hormone therapy replacement
Published by James Blee on March 15th 2012 | Health
Hormone therapy replacement is fast becoming a common concept among most of the womenfolk across the...
 
How you should look at hip replacement
Published by Welcome123 on April 2nd 2012 | Health
Hip replacement is a surgical procedure which is generally carried out when the parts of the hip joi...
 
Cosmetic surgery – a boon to look beautiful
Published by Torontofacialplastic on January 6th 2012 | Health
Cosmetic surgery has become a potent and safest way of enhancing the facial beauty and looks youthfu...
 
Why choose Delhi for orthopedic surgery?
Published by Nathan Jone on February 8th 2012 | Health
So you have been diagnosed with an orthopedic problem and you are contemplating a surgery? Your frie...
 
Heal your knee pain without medication or surgery
Published by Article Up on January 16th 2012 | Health
Osteoarthritis is a common condition among the persons aged over 50 in UK as well as worldwide. It c...
 
Arthritis no more, knee replacement surgery is here
Published by Nathan Jone on January 3rd 2012 | Health
Arthritis or rheumatic joint pain is a very commonly found problem today in not just the elderly but...
 
Thailand, a medical hub for surgery
Published by Amber Dorsch on January 23rd 2012 | Health
Going Thailand for plastic surgery is always a good decision because it has lots of advantages of an...
 
Unleash a new life with minimally invasive heart surgery
Published by Smith Wymondham on January 24th 2012 | Health
Awareness about congenital defects buffalo was recently observed. Congenital defects are those pres...
 
How to save money on Cosmetic surgery
Published by RubyJones on February 23rd 2012 | Health
Cosmetic surgery and saving money are two things that just don’t go together. In fact, cosmetic co...
 
Eye surgery for correcting vision related troubles
Published by Ferzaad Moosa on November 25th 2011 | Health
Fed up of using contact lenses and glasses for proper vision? Try lasik surgery in Los Angeles. Whic...
 
Botox and Nose Surgery are the most preferred cosmetic surgery in Toronto
Published by Torontofacialplastic on December 1st 2011 | Health
Cosmetic surgery today is no more a luxury but has become a need to look beautiful, smarter and yout...
 
Cosmetic surgery India doesn’t damage the pocket.
Published by Jamesalexjendra on February 21st 2012 | Health
Cosmetic surgery India is proving to be the best around the world, where the world class therapy is ...