Health Articles

Heart Valve Regurgitation – Repair is Better than Replacement


Heart valve regurgitation is a disease that can occur on some group of people. Nowadays, patients who have heart valve regurgitation are able to receive the heart valve repair surgery which provides satisfactory outcome and has less side effects compared to the heart valve replacement surgery. Moreover, the patients who underwent the heart valve repair surgery will have a better long term survival than the patients who underwent the heart valve replacement surgery. 

Dr. Taweesak Chotivatanapong, a cardiothoracic surgeon of Vejthani Hospital said that heart valve regurgitation is a condition when the heart valve has a hole or leak. This decreases the heart function’s effectiveness. For example, it used to pump around 5 liters of blood but when it has a leak, 2 liters of blood will be spilled out, and the heart will have to work harder. Basically, if the leaking condition is mild, it won’t show any symptoms; but when it is getting more severe,

the patient will have the following symptoms:

  • Gets easily tired 
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of consciousness 
  • Chest Pain 
  • Palpitation 
  • Swelling of the foot and ankle (Edema) 

Heart valve regurgitation that occurs on various ages has different factors. For example, if it occurs on children, it’s usually caused by congenital heart disease and rheumatic disease. And if it occurs on elderly, it’s usually caused by the body’s deteriorates or infection. Heart valve regurgitation can be cured by using medication and surgery for the patients who have severe symptoms. There are two types of heart valve surgery, which are as follows:

Heart Valve
  • Heart Valve Repair Surgery: With this procedure, the patient will get fewer side effects because it is natural valve tissue and it could restore the normal function of the heart valve, reduce the risk of blood clot in the heart and the risk of bleeding. 
  • Heart Valve Replacement Surgery: If the heart valve is unable to restore its’ normal function, a heart valve replacement surgery will be recommended. An artificial valve, Metal heart valve or animal (Pig’s/Cow’s) heart valve will be used to replace the patient’s heart valve. However, the heart valve replacement surgery has more risk of infection compared to the heart valve repair surgery. Moreover, the patient who underwent the mechanical heart valve replacement surgery has to take anticoagulant medication for the rest of their lives. 

After the surgery, the surgeon still needs to keep following up every case closely until the heart restores its normal function without any complications. The patient needs to see the doctor regularly to avoid unexpected symptoms.

After the surgery, it is important for the patient to exercise frequently to boost up the heart’s function. However, the patient should consult with the doctor to find the proper way to exercise.

Heart valve regurgitation can be diagnosed and cured. Hence, if you have any suspicious symptoms or any inquiries, you should see the doctor immediately for your safety and for a long term outcome. 

For more information, please contact

Cardiac Center, 5th floor, Vejthani Hospital
Call: (+66)2-734-0000 Ext. 5300
English Hotline: (+66)85-223-8888

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