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Cardiac Valve Replacement Surgery
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Cardiac Valve Replacement Surgery

Approximate Cost : $20,000 Duration : 7-14 Days

Cardiac surgeons now use most advanced minimally invasive heart valve replacement or repair surgery techniques for eligible patients. The heart has four valves that control the flow of blood through the heart:

  • Mitral Valve
  • Aortic Valve
  • Tricuspid Valve
  • Pulmonary Valve

What is Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery?

Heart valve specialists and surgeons agree that whenever possible a heart valve should be repaired rather than replaced. Heart valve repair leaves you with a normally functioning tissue, which resists infection more effectively, and you don't need to take blood-thinning medications after the surgery. If you have mild to moderate heart valve disease, your surgeon often performs heart valve repair.

Available Procedures

Annuloplasty : In this procedure, your surgeon tightens the ring of tissue around the valve to help the valve flaps (leaflets) come together. Sometimes your surgeon will implant a ring where the leaflets meet to make the valve opening smaller so the leaflets can come together.

Repair of Structural Support : In this procedure, your surgeon replaces or shortens the cords that support the valves (chordae tendinae and papillary muscles) to repair the structural support. When the cords and muscles are the right length, the valve leaflet edges meet and eliminate the leak.

Valve Leaflet Repair : In valve leaflet repair, your surgeon surgically separates, cuts or pleats a valve flap (leaflet) to repair a floppy or prolapsed valve leaflet.

Non-Surgical Valve Repair : Cardiac Valve Replacement SurgeryPercutaneous or catheter-based procedures are done without any incisions in the chest or stopping the heart. A thin flexible tube called a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin or the arm and then threaded up into the interior of the heart.

Percutaneous or balloon valvuloplasty : is used in people with stiffened or narrowed (stenosed) pulmonary, mitral or aortic valves (more commonly for the mitral than the aortic valve). A balloon tip on the end of the catheter is positioned in the narrowed valve and inflated to enlarge the opening or to crack open calcified tissue.

Heart Valve Replacement Surgery : Heart Valve Replacement SurgeryIf your heart valve can't be repaired, your surgeon will remove your damaged valve and replace it with an artificial (prosthetic) valve You may need heart valve replacement if you have valve narrowing (stenosis) or severely damaged valves affected by calcium buildup in the valves (calcification) or rheumatic disease. Surgeons perform procedures often to replace mitral or aortic valves, but your surgeon can replace any heartvalve.

Heart valve replacements include:

Mechanical Valve : It is made totally of mechanical parts that are tolerated well by the body. The bi-leaflet valve is used most often. It consists of two carbon leaflets in a ring covered with polyester knit fabric.

Biological Valve : Tissue valves (also called biologic or bioprosthetic valves) are made of human or animal tissue. Animal tissue heart valves may come from pig tissue (porcine) or cow tissue (bovine). Tissue valves may have some artificial parts to help give the valve support and to aid placement.

Homograft Valve (also called allograft) : It is an aortic or pulmonary human valve that has been removed from a donated human heart, preserved, and frozen under sterile conditions. A homograft may be used to replace a diseased aortic or pulmonary valve.

Minimal incision valve surgery does not require a large incision or cutting through the entire breastbone. The surgeon gains access to the heart through one to three smaller, less visible incisions (sometimes called “ports”) that can be made between the ribs or a smaller breastbone incision, as well as one small incision in the groin. The diseased valve can be repaired or replaced through one or more of the ports between the ribs, with the surgeon looking at the heart directly through a small tube-shaped camera.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

  • A lower mortality at the time of operation (1-2% for repair versus 6-8% for replacement).
  • A significantly lower risk of stroke, and a lower rate of infection.
  • Improved long-term survival with mitral valve repair.
  • After valve repair surgery blood thinners are not required, in contrast to the life-long requirement for blood thinners after heart valve replacement surgery.

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