The heart is a muscle which pumps blood to the lungs and rest of the body. There are four valves in the heart, and the job of each valve is to make sure that blood flows in the correct direction.
- Aortic valve
- Mitral valve
- Pulmonary valve
- Tricuspid valve
In Valve Replacement Surgery the surgeon will remove the damaged valve and then replace it with an artificial (prosthetic) valve. Valves are the small doors that control the flow of blood between the hearts’ chambers. Two kinds of valves are used for valve replacement.
They are made from durable metals, carbon, ceramics, and plastics. In order to attach the valve to the tissues in the patient’s heart, a fabric sewing ring is used. The major advantage is longevity.
Animal tissue, either an actual pig valve or a bovine pericardial engineered valve. The human tissue of a donated heart used most often to replace infected valves. A Ross Procedure (also called a Switch Procedure) involves taking the patient’s normally functioning pulmonary valve and using it to replace a diseased aortic valve.
- Valve stenosis: Valve does not open fully, it will obstruct the flow of blood.
- Valve incompetence: Valve does not close properly, it will allow blood to leak backward.
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fainting spells
- Heart failure
Traditional Heart Valve Surgery
The surgeon will make a cut towards the bottom of your sternum (breastbone) to get direct access to your heart, during traditional heart valve surgery. The surgeon then repairs or replaces your abnormal heart valve or valves. While this approach remains in use, today most patients with isolated valve disease can be treated with minimally invasive techniques.
Minimally invasive heart valve surgery
Minimally invasive surgery performed through smaller incisions. This kind of surgery also reduces blood loss, trauma, and length of hospital stay. Heart valve surgery is the most common procedure that involves fewer incisions. Your surgeon will review your diagnostic tests before your surgery to see if you are a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery.
The Ross Procedure
This surgery is used most often with adults and children under age 35. This is one of the specialized aortic valve replacement surgery. The procedure involves replacing the patient’s diseased aortic valve with the patient’s pulmonary valve, called an autograft. The surgeon then replaces the pulmonary valve with a homograft pulmonary valve. That is a pulmonary valve from a human donor. , The Ross Procedure is the best option for active older patients and young people when compared to traditional valve replacement using manufactured prosthetic valves. As compared to prosthetic valves, the pulmonary valve lasts longer. After a few years, the prosthetic valves tend to fail after a few years in younger patients.