The human heart consists of four valves: the mitral valve, the tricuspid valve, the pulmonic valve and the aortic valve. These valves direct blood from and to the body throughout the heart. A defect, disease, damage or infection of the heart leads to the malfunction of any of the four valves. The severe malfunction of a heart valve gets in the way of the blood flow. It also causes fainting spells, heart palpitation and difficulty breathing. These physical conditions worsen and may threat life with death if the damaged valve is not replaced timely.
How The Surgery Takes Place
The surgeons first of all, cut through and separate the ribs and breastbone. Then the patient is placed on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. This machine will carry out the functions of the lungs and heart during the execution of the surgery. Then, the surgeon cuts open the heart to locate the position of the damaged valve. They loosen the valve from the connecting tendons by slicing around the valve. The place of the damaged valve is filled up with a new valve.
Different types of valves
Replacement valves are of three types. One is made of animal tissue, especially the aortic valve of a pig. The second one is mechanically made of plastic and metal. The third one mainly includes the valves of human heart. This valve is removed from the body of an organ donor.
Majority of heart replacement cases turn up successfully. Only a few patients die on account of the surgery. The percentage of patients who die during or after the surgery is very low. Percentage of patients who are under 65 and who die on account of the surgery is less than 1. However, the quality of life is improved after the surgery in successful cases.
Double Valve Replacement – The Ross Procedure
“Double Valve Replacement?!” you may be thinking to yourself, “Why a double valve replacement if only your aortic valve was problematic?”
It’s a great question you raise. It seems very logical that only having one aortic valve replacement surgery would and should be necessary. So, why a double valve replacement ? Enter Dr. Donald Ross, the inventor of the Ross Procedure operation.
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