Mitral Valve Repair / Replacement

Mitral valve repair is a cardiac surgery procedure performed by cardiac surgeons to treat stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage) of the mitral valve. The mitral valve is the "inflow valve" for the left side of the heart. Blood flows from the lungs, where it picks up oxygen, through the pulmonary veins, to the left atrium of the heart. After the left atrium fills with blood, the mitral valve allows blood to flow from the left atrium into the heart's main pumping chamber called the left ventricle. It then closes to keep blood from leaking back into the left atrium or lungs when the ventricle contracts (squeezes) to push blood out to the body. It has two flaps, or leaflets.
The techniques of mitral valve repair include inserting a cloth-covered ring around the valve to bring the leaflets into contact with each other (annuloplasty), removal of redundant/loose segments of the leaflets (quadrangular resection), re-suspension of the leaflets with artificial (Gore-Tex) cords. More recently the Alfieri stitch (or "bow-tie") has been adapted to allow percutaneous repair in select patients.
Procedures on the mitral valve usually require a median sternotomy, but advances in non-invasive methods (such as keyhole surgery) allow surgery without a sternotomy (and resulting pain and scar). Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery is much more technically demanding and may involve higher risk.
Occasionally, the mitral valve is abnormal from birth (congenital). More often the mitral valve becomes abnormal with age (degenerative) or as a result of rheumatic fever. In rare instances the mitral valve can be destroyed by infection or a bacterial endocarditis. Mitral regurgitation may also occur as a result of ischemic heart disease (coronary artery disease).

Aortic valve repair / replacement

Aortic valve repair is a surgical procedure used to correct some aortic valve disorders as an alternative to aortic valve replacement. Aortic valve repair is performed less often and is more technically difficult than mitral valve repair. There are two surgical techniques of aortic-valve repair:
*   The Reimplantation-Technique (David-Procedure)
*   The Remodeling-Technique (Yacoub-Procedure)

Aortic valvuloplasty is the repair of a stenotic aortic valve using a balloon catheter inside the valve. The balloon is placed into the aortic valve that has become stiff from calcium buildup. The balloon is then inflated in an effort to increase the opening size of the valve and improving blood flow.
According to the ACC/AHA 2006 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease , balloon valvuloplasty (also referred to as balloon valvotomy) is not to be recommended, except for certain adolescent congenital defects. The preferred alternative, if available, is aortic valve replacement.
Alternatively, as of late 2006, percutaneous aortic valve replacement is being trialled as a less invasive operation to replace dysfunctional valves.

Aortic valve replacement is a cardiac surgery procedure in which a patient's failing aortic valve is replaced with an alternate healthy valve. The aortic valve can be affected by a range of diseases; the valve can either become leaky (aortic insufficiency / regurgitation) or partially blocked (aortic stenosis). Aortic valve replacement is open heart surgery.
A catheter-based approach (percutaneous aortic valve replacement or PAVR), approved in Europe and in clinical trials in the United States, eliminates the need for open heart surgery, but is associated with a higher risk of stroke.

 

Types of heart valves

There are two basic types of artificial heart valve: mechanical valves and tissue valves.

Tissue valves

Tissue heart valves are usually made from animal tissue, either animal heart valve tissue or animal pericardial tissue. The tissue is treated to prevent rejection and calcification.
There are alternatives to animal tissue valves. In some cases a homograft - a human aortic valve—can be implanted. Homograft valves are donated by patients and harvested after the patient dies. The durability of homograft valves is comparable to porcine and bovine tissue valves. Another procedure for aortic valve replacement is the Ross procedure (or pulmonary autograft). In a Ross procedure, the aortic valve is removed and replaced with the patient's own pulmonary valve. A pulmonary homograft (pulmonary valve taken from a cadaver) is then used to replace the patient's own pulmonary valve.

Mechanical valves

Mechanical valves are designed to outlast the patient, and have typically been stress-tested to last several hundred years. Although mechanical valves are long-lasting and generally present a one-surgery solution, there is an increased risk of blood clots forming with mechanical valves. As a result, mechanical valve recipients must take anticoagulant (blood thinning) drugs such as warfarin for the rest of their lives, making the patient more prone to bleeding.

Valve selection

Tissue valves tend to wear out faster with increased flow demands - such as with a more active (typically younger) person. Tissue valves typically last 10–15 years in less active (typically elderly) patients, but wear out faster in younger patients. When a tissue valve wears out and needs replacement, the person must undergo another valve replacement surgery. For this reason, younger patients are often recommended mechanical valves to prevent the increased risk (and inconvenience) of another valve replacement.

There is a promising new valve replacement procedure called a Trans-catheter Aortic Valve (TCAV). It is currently only available for high risk patients and still in the research stage. In the future it may be possible for the recipient of a prosthetic tissue valve to have a much less invasive surgery performed to insert a new valve once the replacement valve wears out. A new valve is compressed and positioned orthoscopically and then it is expanded within the first replacement valve forcing it open and allowing the TCAV to operate. The current expected life span of the TCAV is approximately 10–15 years. It is also expected that yet another TCAV can be implanted within the first TCAV. As technology advances the lifespan of the TCAV may be extended.

Surgical Procedure

Aortic valve replacement is most frequently done through a median sternotomy, meaning the incision is made by cutting through the sternum. Once the pericardium has been opened, the patient is put on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine, also known as the heart-lung machine. This machine takes over the task of breathing for the patient and pumping their blood around while the surgeon replaces the heart valve.
Once the patient is on bypass, a cut is made in the aorta and a crossclamp applied. The surgeon then removes the patient's diseased aortic valve and a mechanical or tissue valve is put in its place. Once the valve is in place and the aorta has been closed, the patient is taken off the heart-lung machine. Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE, an ultra-sound of the heart done through the esophagus) can be used to verify that the new valve is functioning properly. Pacing wires are usually put in place, so that the heart can be manually paced should any complications arise after surgery. Drainage tubes are also inserted to drain fluids from the chest and pericardium following surgery. These are usually removed within 36 hours while the pacing wires are generally left in place until right before the patient is discharged from the hospital.

 

Hospital stay recovery time,Outcomes and risk

After aortic valve replacement, the patient will frequently stay in an intensive care unit for 12–36 hours. The patient is often able to go home after this, in about 4-5 days, unless complications arise. Common complications include heart block, which typically requires the permanent insertion of a cardiac pacemaker.
Recovery from aortic valve replacement will take about three months, if the patient is in good health. Patients are advised not to do any heavy lifting for 4–6 months after surgery, to avoid damage to the sternum (the breast bone).

Surgical outcome and risk of procedure

The risk of death or serious complications from aortic valve replacement is typically quoted as being between 1-3%, depending on the health and age of the patient, as well as the skill of the surgeon. Older patients, as well as more fragile ones, are sometimes ineligible for surgery because of elevated risks.

Percutaneous aortic valve replacement

Percutaneous aortic valve replacement implants the valves using a catheter, without open heart surgery. It is used in Europe in patients who are at high risk to undergo open heart surgery, but is in clinical trials in North America, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and elsewhere. The SAPIEN valve is made by Edwards Lifesciences. The Medtronic Corevalve device is another device used for this procedure

Equipment

Valve Repair or Replacement is a complex heart surgery and requires a fully equipped Cardiac OT at the hospiital. Gurgaon has two good cardiac hospitals with complete facilities for doing the most complex cardiac surgeries. Artemis Health Institute and Medanta Medicity have the complete backup of Blood Bank, ICU, CCU and have good cardiac Operating rooms

Echocardiography

One of the best and low cost test to check the health of your heart. Using a colour doppler the cardiologist is able to see the blood flow from and to the heart   read more

Treadmill Test (TMT)

One of the basic test to see how your heart functions when you are working hard is the TMT Test in which you walk on the treadmill and ECG readings of your heart are taken..   read more

Holter Monitoring

If your heart skips a beat this can be an indicator of heart disease. In this test we measure the ECG for 24 hours by putting a device around your chest...   read more

Angioplasty

When the coronary arteries get blocked due to fat deposits the blood flow to the heart gets reduced which is opened by putting stents in the arteries...   read more

AVR MVR

Valvular heart disease is a form of heart disease that occurs when one or more of the heart’s four valves don’t function properly....  read more

ASD VSD Closure

ASD VSD is a hole in the wall separating the two chambers of the heart. In normal development, the wall between the chambers closes before the fetus is born...   read more

Dr Jagmeet S Soin

Dr Soin is one of the most experienced cardiologist in India having done his Post Graduation in Nuclear Medicine from John Hopkins USA...  read more

Dr Monil Kadian

Dr Kadian is a Fellow in Cardiology from the reputed John Hopkins University in United States...  read more

Dr Suresh V Sharma

Dr Suresh is one of the most experienced physician cum cardiologist with more than 45 years of experience...   read more

 

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