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All about heart valve replacement and repair surgery heart valves heart valve replacement surgery heart valve replacement surgery time heart valve replacement surgery procedure heart valve repair surgery heart valve repair surgery procedure heart valve repair surgery time recovery from heart valve repair/replacement surgery

When is heart valve repair surgery necessary?

A heart valve repair can be performed on a valve that is too narrow to allow sufficient blood to flow through the valve opening (stenosis) or on a valve that cannot close tightly enough to prevent back flow of blood (insufficiency). The mitral valve is especially suited to reparative techniques because its component parts - any of which may be the cause of the valve's

malfunction - often can be repaired. Repair of a stenotic valve may involve cutting or separating the valve leaflets, or other components, to widen the valve opening. Repair of an insufficient valve may be achieved by narrowing or shortening the supporting structures to allow the valve to close tightly, or by inserting one of a variety of prosthetic rings to reshape a deformed valve.

The terms annuloplasty and valvuloplasty are often used to categorize the type of repair. An annuloplasty describes a procedure performed on the valve annulus, the ring of tissue that supports the valve leaflets. A valvuloplasty is a broad category that refers to reconstructing one or more components of the valve; the leaflets, annulus, chordae tendineae and/or papillary muscles that anchor the leaflets to the heart wall. For example, excess leaflet tissue can be removed or a dilated annulus can be made smaller with stitches.

In addition to the surgical procedures, percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty is a non-surgical treatment option that is performed for heart valve stenosis. This procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory by cardiologists trained in adult and/or pediatric valve procedures. The cardiologist threads a balloon-tipped catheter through a large artery into the narrowed valve opening. The balloon is inflated, thereby enlarging the valve orifice.

More information on heart valve replacement and repair surgery

Why are heart valve surgeries necessary? - Heart valve disease occurs when a valve doesn't work right. A valve may not open all the way, a valve may have problems closing.
What're heart valves? - The heart is a muscular pump divided into two sides. On the right this is the pulmonary valve. On the right, this is called the tricuspid valve.
What is heart valve replacement surgery? - Heart valve replacement refers to procedures aimed at replacing your own heart valve, rather than repairing your own valve.
When is heart valve replacement surgery necessary? - The reasons for a heart valve replacement vary slightly, depending on which of the four heart valves is involved.
How is the heart valve replacement surgery preformed? - The procedure outlined here is a conventional, open-chest procedure for valve replacement surgery.
What's heart valve repair? - Heart valve repair is a surgical procedure used to correct a malfunctioning heart valve. Repair usually involves separating the valve leaflets.
What're the procedures for heart valve repair surgery? - Heart valve repair can usually be done on congenital valve defects and it has a good success record with treating mitral valve defects.
When is heart valve repair surgery necessary? - A heart valve repair can be performed on a valve that is too narrow to allow sufficient blood to flow through the valve opening (stenosis).
What to expect after heart valve surgery? - Every patient recovers at a different rate. Tubes are removed as recovery progresses. The ICU stay is usually a day or two.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005