What to expect in Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

A valve replacement surgery is done on a patient’s damaged heart valve(s), in order to replace or repair it.

According to the four valves in your heart here are the four types of replacements:

  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Mitral valve replacement
  • Tricuspid valve replacement, and
  • Pulmonary valve replacement

In most cases, this involves an open-heart surgery – i.e., the surgeon opens your chest and heart to get to the diseased valve. Nowadays though, minimally invasive surgeries are advised for replacing valves – a procedure where a calculated and small incision near the sternum / breastbone is made.

Presently, the aortic valve replacement are approached in these three ways – open-heart surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) and minimally invasive, catheter-based (Percutaneous) aortic valve replacement.

The transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), offers hope to those patients who have failing heart valves.

Who is a good candidate for TAVI or TAVR?

Reserved for those people for whom an open heart procedure is too risky. Patients in their 70s or 80s who have other medical conditions are generally advised for TAVI or TAVR

The TAVR method is commonly performed for those patients who have less tolerance towards surgery as TAVI or TAVR is a less invasive approach for aortic valve replacement.

This is especially advised for those suffering from aortic valve stenosis (a condition where the aortic valve narrows).

Basic Procedural overview:

TAVR procedure involves valve delivery through multiple approaches. One of the popular approach is the “Transfemoral route” in which the main artery in your groin is used as a route for the insertion of a new valve. A metal stent containing a valve is deployed using a balloon. This will implant the stent into the valve, in effect opening the narrowed valve and grafting the stent in place.

Our team at Total Cardiac Care is experienced in the replacement of one or more heart valves. In most cases, this is done through an artificial heart valve or a bioprosthesis (homograft, meaning from human tissue or a xenograft i.e. from an animal tissue).

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