Valve Replacement or Repair Surgery
There are 4 valves in heart which ensure smooth blood flow from one chamber to another chamber and that too only in forward direction. Some times they get diseased – resulting in either the narrowing of the valve causing obstruction to forward flow or the leakage of valve leading to the blood flowing in the reverse direction also. Commonly, valves on the left side (the mitral valve between the left upper and lower chambers, and the aortic valve between the left lower chamber and the aorta) are affected. Common diseases that affect valves are:
» Rheumatic fever
» Degenerative diseases
» Old age
When they are affected, heart will not be able to pump adequate blood to other tissues in the body. If there is not adequate improvement with drugs, they may need surgery. Some times the surgeon may be able to repair the native valve releasing the obstruction or leak. If repair is possible, preserving native valve has its advantages. Some times that valve needs to be replaced by an artificial valve. Commonly one of the two artificial valves is used.