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Dr. P. Rajendra Kumar Jain, Monday, October 28, 2019

Our lifeline is in our hearts. The day our heart stops beating, we cease to exist. Heart is the mother of all bodily functions. Protecting our heart is our priority. Heart ailments today are the number one killers. The majority of Asians, and above all Indians are genetically susceptible to heart failures. Our food habits and sedentary lifestyles have increased the risk of heart failures and heart ailments.

Cardiologists have and are researching ways and methods to keep the human heart ticking. Much advancement has been made and people are now using external devices like pacemakers etc with ease.

The cardiologist always opts for surgery as a last option. Our heart is made up of four major valves which conduct the blood flow to all parts of the body. If anyone or more of the valves is damaged then it is inevitable to repair it or them with the help of surgery. The blood if obstructed to any part of the body will lead to disturbances to the whole system.

  • If one of our valves does not open fully, it will obstruct or shrink the flow of blood. This is called valve stenosis or narrowing of the heart valve or shrinking of the same.
  • If any of the valves do not close in properly, it will allow blood to leak backward into the valve. This is called valve incompetence, or regurgitation, or a leaky valve.

In most cases, medicines will be given to overcome these situations. In certain cases, surgery is needed. It improves the bad symptoms you are experiencing the quality of life improves after the surgery. You can go back to your normal activities with ease.

Treatment options:

  • Valve repair: Usually, the cardiologists or surgeons go in for repair of the mitral valve that is leaking or has become sloppy but is not seriously damaged to have it replaced.
  • Valve replacement: Valve replacement is considered when the diseased or damaged valve is replaced with a new valve. The most commonly used types of replacement valves are mechanical (artificial) valves or tissue (animal) valves.

 In certain cases, Transcatheter aortic valve implantation or (TAVI) procedure is used if you are an adult (Male or Female) and not stable enough to have traditional heart surgery.

Your doctor advises certain diagnostic tests to see how your general health is, like liver function test, kidney function test or a major surgical profile. After seeing the reports our team of physicians decides on whether you need medicines or surgery. Your prognosis is important for the cardiologist to arrive at a decision. A thorough study of all four valves is done. The doctor decides whether the valve has to be repaired or replacement has to be done.

What are the steps and procedures in heart valve repair or replacement?

Like in any surgery, you will be prepared to go into the operation theatre. Anesthesia will be administered. You’re connected to monitors to assess your vitals during the surgery. A hurt and lung machine is placed to assist blood circulation in your body during the surgery. The doctor makes an incision from the breast bone to reach the heart and then to the valve to be repaired or replaced. In case of valve replacement, metal or plastic or animal tissue will be used as a replacement. The surgery takes about three and a half four hours. You will be in the ICU for the next 48 hours, after which you will be posted to your room. The hospital stay would be for about a week. Pain relievers will be given to combat the initial pain or discomfort. You can return to your normal activities in about 6 to 8 weeks. The surgical wound is well healed in 8 weeks to resume strenuous physical activity.

Benefits Vs Risks?

The benefits are many. Your quality of life improves. You can walk, cycle and climb stairs too. It also has an inherent risk of developing Endocarditis or infection of the heart valve lining which is very rare.

When back at home:

Take enough rest. The medicines prescribed must be taken on time. Anticoagulants will be given to prevent blood clots. Diet, as suggested, must be consumed. Cardiac rehabilitation exercises to improve heart health will be taught before you are discharged, you have to keep doing them for faster recovery.

KIMS, has the best cardio-thoracic, valve replacement surgeons in Hyderabad. It is emerging as a leading heart care provider in AP and Telangana. We comply with all environmental and fire safety norms and ensure treatment is safe, good and hygienic environs. Our hospital is centrally located with easy access and we are just a call away.



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