The surgery performed to replace an aortic valve is completed for aortic valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. During the procedure, the damaged valve is completely removed and replaced using an artificial valve. This type of procedure is an open-heart surgery. However, for some patients, a minimally-invasive surgery or catheter procedure may be an option. You must speak with your doctor to determine which procedure is right for you.
How is Surgery Completed?
During an open-heart valve surgery, your surgeon will create a large incision directly in the chest. Blood will be circulated outside of your body using a machine to add oxygen into the system. The heart is often cooled to ensure it slows or completely stops so it may not be damaged during the procedure.
The artificial valve, which is mechanical or made of animal tissue, will be inserted into its correct position.
What to Expect Afterwards
Upon the successful completion of an aortic valve replacement surgery, you will recover in the hospital until the medical staff deems you healthy enough to return home. Depending on your overall health, you will most likely return to the comfort of your home just a few days after the completion of the procedure.
In total, you may experience a lengthy recovery time of several weeks. It may be best to schedule 4 to 12 weeks off of work, depending on the work you do and how you are feeling afterward. In some cases, a complete recovery may take several months. Your doctor will help determine the right time to return to work.
If you have any questions or concerns relating to aortic valve replacement surgery, please do not hesitate to call Brookhaven Heart at (631) 654-3278. We would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you may currently have!