Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery

Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery

What is Heart valve repair or replacement surgery?

    Heart valve surgery is a medical procedure designed to address heart valve disease, where at least one of the four heart valves malfunctions. The proper functioning of these valves is crucial in maintaining the correct direction of blood flow through the heart.

    The four heart valves—mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic—each have flaps (leaflets for the mitral and tricuspid valves and cusps for the aortic and pulmonary valves). Ideally, these flaps should open and close once during each heartbeat. When valves fail to function correctly, they disrupt the normal blood flow from the heart to the body.

    During heart valve surgery, a surgeon intervenes to repair or replace the damaged or diseased heart valve(s). This can be achieved through either open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery. The choice of surgical approach depends on factors such as age, overall health, and the type and severity of heart valve disease. The goal is to restore optimal valve function and ensure the proper circulation of blood within the heart.

    Why is it done?

    Heart valve surgery addresses heart valve disease, which can manifest in two primary forms: stenosis, characterized by the narrowing of a valve, and regurgitation, marked by a leak allowing blood to flow backwards. The need for heart valve surgery arises when these conditions impact the heart's ability to pump blood effectively.

    If heart valve disease is asymptomatic or mild, regular health checkups, lifestyle changes, and medications to manage symptoms may be recommended. Sometimes, heart valve surgery might be considered even without noticeable symptoms. For instance, surgeons may repair or replace a heart valve concurrently if another heart surgery is required.

    What are the risks of heart valve surgery?

    Heart valve surgery entails certain risks, which may include:

    19. Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during or after the surgery.

    20. Infection: Infections can occur as a complication of the surgery.

    21. Irregular Heart Rhythm (Arrhythmia): The procedure may lead to disturbances in the normal heart rhythm.

    22. Problem with a Replacement Valve: Complications related to the replacement valve, such as malfunction or issues with fit, can arise.

    23. Heart Attack: In some cases, a heart attack may occur as a complication of the surgery.

    24. Stroke: There is a risk of stroke associated with heart valve surgery.

    25. Death: Although rare, as with any surgery, there is a risk of mortality.

    It is crucial for individuals considering heart valve surgery to thoroughly discuss these potential risks with their healthcare team and weigh them against the expected benefits of the procedure. The decision to undergo surgery should be based on a comprehensive understanding of the associated risks and benefits in the context of individual health conditions.

    Procedure Details


    Shaving body hair in the areas where surgical incisions, known as incisions, may be necessary. As a precaution against infection, a specialized soap may be employed to cleanse the skin before the surgery.

    During the procedure:

    During heart valve surgery, anaesthesia is administered to induce a sleep-like state throughout the procedure. The patient is connected to a heart-lung bypass machine, which ensures the continuous flow of blood through the body during surgery.

    Heart valve surgery can be performed through standard open-heart surgery, involving a central chest incision to access the heart. Alternatively, minimally invasive heart surgery, characterized by smaller incisions, offers a less invasive approach. This technique typically avoids significant muscle cutting or bone breakage.

    Minimally invasive heart surgery encompasses methods such as thoracoscopic surgery or mini-thoracotomy, where long tools are inserted through small incisions on the right side of the chest. Another approach is robot-assisted heart surgery, involving the assistance of a robot in the surgical process.

    In comparison to open-heart surgery, minimally invasive procedures may result in:

    41. A shorter hospital stays.

    42. A quicker recovery.

    43. Reduced pain.

    44. Lower risk of infection.

    45. Reduced time spent in the intensive care unit.

    46. A lower risk of post-surgery heart rhythm issues.


    Post-procedure, following heart valve surgery, patients typically spend a day or more in the intensive care unit (ICU). During this time, they receive fluids and medications intravenously (IV), and various tubes are employed to drain urine from the bladder, as well as fluid and blood from the chest. Oxygen may be administered through a mask or a small plastic tube adjacent to the nose.

    Upon completion of the ICU stay, patients are usually transferred to another hospital room for several days, with the duration dependent on individual conditions and the nature of the surgery. The post-surgery care team monitors the patient's condition, watches for signs of infection, and assesses vital signs such as blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. Pain management is a collaborative effort between the patient and the healthcare team.

    Patients are encouraged to engage in regular walks as part of a gradual return to activity. Additionally, coughing and breathing exercises are recommended during the recovery process. Detailed instructions for post-surgery recovery are provided, including:

    55. Vigilance for signs of infection in incisions.

    56. Adherence to medication schedules.

    57. Proper care for incisions.

    58. Management of pain and other potential side effects following surgery.

    Speak to our team about valve repair or replacement surgery

    Please feel free to reach out to our experienced medical team to discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding valve repair or replacement surgery. Our team is dedicated to provide personalized and comprehensive information to support you in making informed decisions about your cardiac health. Whether you are exploring the possibility of surgery or seeking guidance on post-surgery care, we are here to assist you every step of the way. Your well-being is our priority, and we look forward to addressing any inquiries you may have.


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