Aortic Valve Surgery Procedure

The aortic valve surgery is one treatment for severe damage of the heart. The human heart can be considered a very strong organ. It can withstand a considerable deal of stress and pressure.

However, like all organs, it does have its limitations and can grow weak from age and external or environmental factors. For 1 to 2% of the population, the aortic valve of their heart might suffer deterioration. Such a serious condition, however, can be treated in more than just one way. 

The problems with the valve can vary. In many instances, the valve becomes leaky; in other cases, there might be a hardening of blockages within the valve. Either way, it becomes necessary to take the steps required to repair the problem. Due to the seriousness of the condition, it becomes necessary to undergo open heart surgery. Specifically, the open heart surgery that is performed would be a valve replacement.
There are many different ways a replacement valve can be procured. Commonly, a pig's valve is selected as the substitute valve. Again, this is achieved through open heart surgery where a cardiopulmonary bypass machine is employed to pump the blood on the heart's behalf. The machine also operates respiratory function assisting the lungs; it allows the doctors the ability to replace and repair the valve.

Obviously, the aortic valve surgery is a complex one and not one that is taken lightly. When doctors first discover a problem with a valve, they will not immediately perform the surgery. Rather, they will wait until the valve is approaching a critical level before performing the surgery. Again, this is because they will wish to avoid performing the surgery until it is absolutely necessary.

Modern medicine has made the performance of aortic heart valve surgery procedure not as problematic as it was in the past.

Most people will recovery within a relatively short period of time after the surgery. The better a person's health may be, the quicker the recovery time will be. Immediately after the surgery, the patient will be placed in intensive care during 4 to 10 days. This is done to monitor the patient's recovery and to maintain a watchful eye on complications.

Once out of intensive care, the patient will need to move on to a rehab center for recovery for up to 4 weeks. The overall recovery time for the surgery itself can be upwards of 3 months although some have experienced complete recoveries in a month. Granted, rapid recoveries are rare but they do occur.

Common complications that are possible include infections or blockages.

Proper monitoring of the patient during the intensive care stage will usually address these complications. Overall, this type of operation can be considered a safe one. More than 95% of the people that undergo the aortic valve surgery procedure successfully recover from it.

The process can add an addition 5 to 10 years on the life of an individual. That alone can be considered the main reason to look towards having the surgery performed.


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