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What Happens After a Heart Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery?

When the valves of the heart are damaged, suffering from a disease or do not function normally, the need for a heart valve repair or replacement surgery arises. A number of reasons could contribute to the improper functioning of the valve, such as valve stiffness or a leaky valve. Valves can become stiff and restricted due to infection, fever, or ageing. When the valve/valves become leaky, less blood is pumped in the right direction. The doctor will decide, based on symptoms and the condition of the heart, whether you would need a valve replacement or repair surgery.

Traditionally, the surgery done to replace or repair the heart valve was done by making a large cut in the chest and temporarily stopping the heart to repair or replace the valves. Nowadays, with the advent of the latest technology, this procedure is carried out by making minimum incisions, which results in less pain post the surgery and fewer days to be spent at the hospital. If you are thinking of how do I get ready for heart valve repair, the health care provider will give you guidelines.


Symptoms of a heart valve repair/replacement – When one or more of your heart valves become damaged or diseases, you may experience dizziness, light-headedness, chest pain, difficulties in breathing, palpitations, water retention that causes swelling of the feet, ankles or abdomen, and a quick gain in weight.


Risks associated with a heart valve repair or replacement surgery – This surgery brings along with it a number of potential risk factors, which include bleeding during the course of surgery or after the surgery, blood clots that can result in heart attacks, stroke or problems in the lungs. It can also cause infection, pneumonia, pancreatitis, breathing problems, abnormal and irregular heartbeats, improper functioning of the repaired or replaced valve, and it can cause death. If you are suffering from other health conditions, be sure to talk it to your doctor before undergoing surgery.


Post-surgery stay in the hospital – If you are thinking of what happens after heart valve repair, the surgeon or anyone from his team will take you to a recovery room and afterward to the ICU. You will be kept under observation for several days in the ICU. A nurse will connect your body to machines that will show your ECG tracing, blood pressure, breathing and pulse rate, oxygen level, etc. your breathing may be aided by a tube placed in your throat, which is connected to a ventilator. When you are able to breathe easily on your own, the doctor will remove the tube from your throat. You may also have to take medicines to keep your blood pressure in control and prevent your heart from possible bleeding. When your condition becomes stable, you can start a liquid diet. Slowly and gradually, semi-solid and later, a solid diet will follow depending on the condition and recovery of the patient.

The heart valve replacement cost in India differs from one hospital to another. We hope the above information will help you with a clear understanding of the subject.

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