Are you constantly out of breath and fatigued, even after getting a good night’s sleep? These are both symptoms of heart valve regurgitation. This condition occurs most commonly in either the mitral valve or aortic valve. In both cases, the heart valve fails to prevent blood meant to flow in one direction, from flowing back in the opposite direction when the leaflets that control blood flow are contracting. This leakage reduces blood supply to end organs and overloads the heart to work harder.

Heart valve regurgitation is a condition that may appear suddenly, or it may take several decades to develop.

There are two choices for treatment of this condition, and both of them require surgery. The two choices are to repair or replace the heart valve. Whenever possible, doctors choose to repair a patient’s own heart tissue. But when the tissue is too damaged to be expected ever to function properly, their only option is to replace the heart valve. This replacement valve may come from a human donor, a biological or they may use a mechanical valve.

Repair Surgery for Heart Valve Disease

To repair a mitral valve that’s become too tight stenosis, a balloon valvuloplasty procedure may be used. It is a less invasive procedure than general or open-heart surgery but less predictable.

A small catheter is threaded into the heart. This catheter holds an expandable balloon that’s placed into the tightened valve. The balloon is then expanded and stretches the valve open and separate the leaflets at the opening of the valve.

This is the best-case option. For cases that don’t respond to the procedure, another, more invasive procedure is necessary to open the valve and increase the blood flow by open heart surgery. The operation of choice would be mitral valve repair if possible.

Replacement Surgery for Heart Valve Regurgitation

In cases where the doctors don’t feel that the heart valve can be repaired effectively, the other option is to replace the valve entirely.

There are several accepted procedures that a doctor can choose from based upon the condition of the heart valve, the severity of the symptoms and the risks posed by the surgery. The options include either a human or a biological valve replacement, or a mechanical valve replacement.

They also include what’s called a Ross Procedure. This involves switching a healthy valve into the position of a damaged aortic valve. A TAVI/TAVR procedure is a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. It’s also an option in aortic heart valve stenosis.

Needs of the Patient

The patient will be informed in deciding which option is best for them. The doctor will keep the patient fully informed of the options and their recommendations of success for each option. Vejthani Hospital in Bangkok is highly skillful in performing both repair and replacement surgery of this condition. Contact Vejthani Hospital at your earliest convenience if you’re feeling any of the symptoms of aortic valve disease.