Learn About Heart Valve Repair Surgery
As we get older, our heart valves may deteriorate. After the age of fifty is when a person is most susceptible to heart valve issues. The good news is that Vejthani Hospital routinely performs heart valve repair surgery in Thailand to people needing this life-saving procedure.
Our cardiac surgeons perform heart valve repair and replacement surgery even on patients who have been turned down as suitable candidates for this type of surgery at other hospitals. The cardiac team at Vejthani Hospital encourages any patient that has a pre-existing medical condition, is overweight or elderly to visit us if they have been turned down for heart valve repair surgery elsewhere.
Cause of Heart Valve Deterioration
The causes of heart valve deterioration can vary between individuals. They may simply deteriorate with age. Several diseases, including bacterial endocarditis, rheumatic fever, and arteriosclerosis, may also be the cause of the deterioration. The heart valves may also become faulty through congenital abnormalities.
There are three ways that heart valves can become faulty. They can develop leaks, which is called regurgitation. Narrowed valves, such as those seen in patients with rheumatic heart disease, is a condition known as stenosis. A heart valve can also develop an infection, which is called endocarditis. Although these infections may respond to medications, in the most serious cases, the valve may need surgery to be repaired or replaced.
Heart Valve Repair Procedure
Four valves can require heart valve surgery. They are called the Mitral valve, Aortic valve, Tricuspid valve, and Pulmonary valve. How the procedure to repair or replace these valves is undertaken depends on the amount of damage they have sustained.
Most heart valve repair procedures in Thailand can be done though median sternotomy, but the minimally invasive incision depends on the valve pathology, patient, and surgeon.
During the procedure, a ring may be used to surround and support the valve. Or, your doctor may feel that the valve needs to be replaced, and the entire valve may be removed and replaced with an artificial valve made of synthetic material or tissue from animals and human donors.
Recovering from Heart Valve Repair Surgery
Your recovery time after a heart valve repair procedure will largely depend on your physical condition before the procedure. Older or overweight patients may find that their recovery time is longer before they begin to feel better again.
Expect to stay hospitalized for up to a week after the surgery. This includes from one to three days in the Intensive Care Unit. Your doctor may prescribe an exercise program or a cardiac rehabilitation program as part of your recovery process.
People who were working before their surgery can return to work at desk jobs from four to six weeks following their procedure. People who have more physically demanding jobs may need to let themselves heal further.
People who have had a valve repaired or replaced will need to take blood-thinning medicine for the appropriate period of time depends on the type of operation and valve. They need to be careful and inform their dentists or doctors about their past surgery when they have other surgery or dental procedures performed.
The doctor or dentist may prescribe an anti-biotic be taken before they perform the surgery or dental procedure. This is to guard against any bacteria entering the bloodstream and making its way to the repaired or replaced valve and causing infection.
If you have any further questions about heart valve repair or replacement surgery, call Vejthani Hospital to schedule an appointment and a consultation with a cardiac expert. They’ll put your mind at ease about having heart valve repair surgery in Thailand and help you put together a plan of action if you require the surgery.
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