Heart valve diseases and its cause
As you may know, the heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood into the body. It consists of 4 chambers including 2 atriums and 2 ventricles, with 4 valves attached to them. The main function of these valves is to keep the blood flowing forward in the heart.
These four valves are the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve, and aortic valve. Each valve has flaps or cusps which open and close at the time of heartbeat to keep the blood in the heart flowing in the forward direction. If the valves do not open and close properly it interrupts the blood in the body of a person.
A condition in which one or more heart valves do not work properly is known as heart valve disease. These diseases may arise due to many factors. The cause of heart valve diseases could range from a birth defect, age-related conditions, atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart diseases, cardiomyopathy or endocarditis, etc.
Why is heart valve replacement surgery needed?
Heart valve surgery is required in two main cases:
Stenosis – narrowing of valves
Regurgitation – leakage in valves
Both of these conditions hinder the heart’s ability to pump blood into the body efficiently. According to your condition and symptoms, the cardiologist will recommend you the type of surgery for either heart valve replacement or repair.
The diseased valve can either be repaired using a ring to support the valves or can get completely replaced with a mechanical or tissue valve.
If you don’t have any symptoms, or your condition is not bad enough, the doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe medication to manage your condition.
Consult with a cardiologist to get a complete treatment plan according to your condition. Discuss which type of surgery is better for you and if any other treatment or surgery options are available.
Types of heart valve replacement surgeries
Replacement of old valves with new ones is a complex process. There are two types of heart valve replacement surgeries. They are categorized depending on the type of material the valve is made of. The replacement surgeries are
- Mechanical valves –
It is a type of valve which is made up of carbon or metal like titanium. It is manufactured in such a way that it mimics the design of a valve itself. These types of valves are implanted in younger heart valve disease patients.
It lasts for around 30 years and does not require any further surgeries to maintain the functioning of the heart. Anti-blood clotting medicines are prescribed to patients who receive a mechanical valve implant. Hence it is advised to avoid circumstances that might lead to bleeding.
- Tissue valves –
These types of valves are made up of tissues of cows or pigs. It is a bioprosthetic valve that lasts for 10-15 years. Therefore, it is implanted in patients over the age of 65 years. Hence, this type of valve may require replacement surgery again after some time.
It does not require the patient to take blood-thinning medicines as it does not cause blood clotting. It is also preferred to get a biological heart valve replacement during pregnancy as it reduces many risks as compared to mechanical valves.
How it’s done
The process of heart valve replacement is done under the influence of general anesthesia. It can be done in two ways which are conventional and minimally invasive.
The main difference between the two is that conventional procedure requires making large incisions whereas in minimally invasive procedures smaller incisions are made.
In both procedures, the diseased valve is removed by the surgeon, and a new valve is introduced in its place. While removing the diseased valve, the heart of the patient stops, and a bypass machine is applied to pump blood into the body.
The process is complex and requires skilled professional surgeons to perform it. After surgery, the patient is kept under observation for some time, which can vary from a week to a few days depending on the type of surgery that is performed.
Recovery may take some time and you will be asked to visit the doctor for regular checkups. Some patients experience few post-surgery symptoms such as fever, chills, swelling or drainage at the site of incision, etc. If you experience such symptoms, immediately contact your cardiologist.
Cost of heart valve replacement surgery
The heart valve replacement surgery cost may range from Rs. 3,00,000 to Rs. 10,00,000 depending on the severity of your condition. There are several factors on which the cost of heart valve replacement surgery will depend, some of the factors are
- The cost of the valve itself
- Diagnostic tests
- Stay in hospital
- Fees of physicians
However, the price may vary depending on the city and hospital from which you are getting the treatment.
There are different kinds of heart surgeries available to implant a valve. Discuss with a cardiologist to know which surgery is better for valve replacement according to your overall condition.
How does complex treatment help?
Complex treatments have been working for years to make the journey of treatment of heart patients much easier. We offer a free second opinion from India’s top cardiologist who has years of experience in performing complicated surgeries and treating heart patients.
We also have heart support devices that have saved thousands of lives. Hundreds of end-stage heart failure patients or heart valve-diseased patients got the best treatment through our services.
We help you find the best cardiologist for treatment according to your condition.