Aortic valve replacement is a procedure that treats aortic valve disease. Aortic valve is one of the four valves that control blood flow through the heart. When it isn’t working properly, it can interfere with blood flow and force the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the rest of your body.
Aortic valve replacement can help restore normal blood flow, reduce symptoms, prolong life and help preserve the function of your heart.
In this procedure, your doctor removes the aortic valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or a valve made from cow, pig or human heart tissue (valve).
Aortic valve replacement can be done through open-heart surgery, which involves a chest incision, or by using a minimally invasive method, which are smaller incisions in the chest or leg. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is another type of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement that has a nonsurgical approach, but not all situations are best addressed by this method.
The decision to replace a damaged aortic valve depends on the severity of the disease, your age, overall heart and whether you need heart surgery to correct another heart problem in addition to aortic valve disease.
If you had open-heart surgery, you will need to spend a few days in the intensive care unit (ICU) depending on your condition and procedure. You will eventually move to a regular hospital room for several days. The team will assist you during your recovery and regulate your health.
Your doctor will discuss with you when you can resume to your normal activities. You will need to attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor your condition.
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