Heart Valve Surgery

Repair and replacement of heart valves

Last modified: October 10, 2011

Prof. Dr. Kaya Suzer
Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgeon

Memorial Healthcare Group
and WhereismyDoctor.com Contributing Writer

Heart Valve Surgery

Heart Valve Surgery Procedure

In some heart valve surgical applications, replacing the insufficient valve with a prosthetic valve is ideal. This method, inevitable particularly in elderly patients with structural problems in the mitral valve, brings forth additional problems. One issue involves the increased operative risk, where removal of the mitral valve causes negative effects to the left ventricle, which usually already has significant functional problems. In this case, lifelong use of anticoagulant medication is required if a mechanical prosthesis is used.

“Replacement of the valve should not be preferred unless absolutely required, and maintaining and repairing the original valve must be attempted even a little time-consuming for the surgeon,” explained Professor Dr. Kaya Suzer.

Patients who do not receive proper care for a damaged heart valve will continue their lives with chronic heart problems. Experts suggest that investing in a qualified cardiologist, and getting the recommended care are critical factors for improving the quality of life and chances of survival for patients.



A Good Candidate for Heart Valve Surgery

A good candidate for heart valve surgery has mitral valve heart disease or coronary artery disease. In general, mitral valve heart disease is related to several causes. Treatment for a damaged mitral valve is done by either replacing or repairing the valve. However, mitral insufficiency resulting from coronary artery disease is rather different from other mitral valve diseases, besides some exceptional cases. In these scenarios, there are no structural problems in the valve, however, as a result of some anatomic changes in the heart, the function of the valve deteriorates. In this stage, a heart valve surgery procedure, called annuloplasty, will promote proper function of the mitral valve within the enlarged heart.

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