The heart is a wonderful creation, designed to pump blood through the body 24/7/365 and Leap Year 366. Awake or asleep, humans depend on the heart to do its work. No one ever consciously directs that work. The heart operates without conscious decision or effort. https://eco-zenergy.com/van-1-chieu-la-lat/
Heart valve disease can hinder that operation, however. Heart valves are strong, thin flaps of tissue that open and close to allow blood to flow properly through the heart. As the heart pumps, the valves stretch back and forth, keeping blood flowing in the right direction. They work hard, moving with each beat of the heart.
Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease may cause the valves not to open enough to let blood flow freely. Or the opposite may happen – valves may not close as completely as they should, and blood leaks between chambers when it should not. Heart valve disease causes the heart to work harder. This may lead to heart failure.
Heart valve disease can be present at birth, and silently can cause problems as the child grows. Heart valve disease might also be caused later in life by infections, heart attacks, heart damage, or other heart disease.
Sometimes, heart valve disease is minor. No treatment is necessary for minor problems. Other times, heart valve disease might require prescription drugs or a medical procedure. Surgery may be recommended to repair or replace the problem valve.
Heart Valve Surgery
Heart valve surgery may be used in one of two ways. The surgeon may repair a valve, or take it out entirely and replace it with an artificial valve.
Mitral valves can usually be repaired and left where they are. Aortic valves usually must be replaced with artificial valves.
Once the cardiologist and patient have reached a decision to proceed with surgery, they will need to consider options as to which kind of artificial valve will be used: biological or mechanical.
- Biological valves: Biological heart valves are those made from humans or animals. These valves are often made from pig aortic valves. Some have been made from cow tissues.
- Mechanical valves: Mechanical heart valves are made of metal, plastic, and pyrolytic carbon. They are very strong, and will usually last a lifetime.
Heart Valve Surgery Complications
Heart valve surgery complications can occur. Usually these problems are linked to the type of artificial valve used. Although there is little difference among valve types as far as the patient is concerned, surgeons often prefer one over another because of the way it is sewn into place.
Heart valve surgery complications that you will want to discuss with your cardiologist include, but may not be limited to the following.
- Blood clots tend to form on all mechanical valves. The risk of these blood clots causing a stroke in the patient is small, but definite. To counteract the blood clot risk, patients are required to take blood thinners for the rest of their lives. Blood thinners are usually safe, but they can increase bleeding within the body. If that bleeding occurs in the brain, it can lead to death.
- Blood clots sometimes form on biological valves as well, but the risk is greatly reduced. Patients take anticoagulants for only 6 weeks to 3 months. The main problem with these artificial valves is that they eventually wear out and must be replaced. Their expected life is 10 to 15 years, so a young person might have to have several replacements.
- Anesthesia and the rerouting of your blood through a bypass machine may cause heart valve surgery complications such as arrhythmia, pneumonia, kidney failure, stroke, and death.
- Blood clots are another complication that may result from heart valve surgery. These usually show up a few days after surgery, causing pain and swelling in the leg or legs affected. If a blood clot is dislodged from the leg, it can travel to the lungs and cause shortness of breath, chest pain, or even death.
- Other heart valve surgery complications are: bleeding during or after surgery that may require a blood transfusion; infection in the chest incision; and deep infections in the heart or the breastbone.
- The new valve may malfunction shortly after surgery or much later, requiring emergency surgery. This is rare, but can result in death.
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeats) may occur after heart valve surgery. These are controlled by medication. They usually stop after a few days or weeks, but some become permanent.