Our heart is a pump and needs healthy valves to function optimally. There are 4 valves in our heart, two located between the chambers (Mitral and Tricuspid) and the other two located between the chambers and blood vessels (Aortic and Pulmonary Valves). When open, the valves allow the blood to flow only in one direction; when closed, these valves form a strong seal between the different chambers of heart as well as blood vessels.
What are the different types of Heart Valve Malfunction?
- Leaky Valve (Regurgiation) that enables the blood to flow in a reverse direction
- Narrowed valve (Stenosis), in which there is a narrowing, thickening and fusion of valve leaflets that restricts the blood flow across the valve.
When is Valve repair or replacement required?
It is required if the valve has been damaged due to:
- Congenital Heart Defect
- Rheumatic heart disease
What are the different types of Valve Surgeries?
Depending upon the extent and location of damage, valves can be either repaired or replaced by different procedures like:
- For Valve Narrowing (Stenosis) : Closed or open valvulotomy is performed. In this procedure, an incision is made in a fused/narrow valve to restore the valve opening. However, if the restructure of the valve is deranged then a valve replacement is done using a mechanical/metallic (St. Jude or Medtronic Valve) or a bioprosthetic (porcine valve).
- Valve Regurgitation : Advanced repair techniques are used for valve leaflets as well as subvalvular apparatus. In case, its repairing is not feasible then valve replacement is done. We are equipped with cardiac surgeons who specialize in repair techniques for regurgitant mitral valves. Valve replacement is only done for extreme structural abnormality of mitral valve.
Is there a non surgical technique available?
For all your patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis unless determined to be at low surgical risk for open heart surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, TAVR, sometimes referred to as TAVI, is a less invasive procedure that does not require open heart surgery.
What is a TAVR? (Also called TAVI)
This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. The surgery may be called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Valve-within- valve — How does it work?
Somewhat similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter.
Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow.
Who is a good candidate for this type of valve surgery?
At this time the procedure is reserved for those people for whom an open heart procedure poses intermediate risk. For that reason, most people who have this procedure are in their 70s or 80 and often have other medical conditions that make them a better candidate for this type of surgery. TAVR can be an effective option to improve quality of life in patients who otherwise have limited choices for repair of their aortic valve.
Our experts specialize in the techniques required for stenotic aortic valve. Consult our team to know which is an appropriate procedure for you.