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Valve Replacement Surgery

Comprehensive Guide to Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery at ILS Hospitals

Understanding Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery

Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery is a medical procedure performed to replace a damaged mitral valve in the heart. This vital valve is located on the left side of the heart. The surgery can be carried out through open-heart techniques or minimally invasive methods, depending on the severity of mitral valve disease. This disease may result from various factors such as infection, congenital defects, or degenerative conditions.

Indications for Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery: When is it Necessary?

Mitral Valve, responsible for controlling the blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, is crucial for proper heart function. Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery becomes necessary when the valve fails to perform its function optimally. Here are the conditions that might necessitate this surgery:

Inability to Open or Close: If the Mitral Valve becomes stiff or narrow, it may prevent the blood from flowing efficiently. Conversely, if the valve is leaky, it can lead to blood flowing back into the lungs.

Best Candidates for Mitral Valve Surgery:

  • The best candidates for Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery typically meet the following conditions:
  • Symptomatic Chronic Severe Primary Mitral Regurgitation: This condition is often caused by degenerative valve disease.
  • Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF) >30%: Adequate LVEF is crucial for successful surgery.
  • Symptomatic with Severe LV Systolic Dysfunction: Patients with LVEF <30% who are unresponsive to medical therapy and have low comorbidity are ideal candidates.

Who Should Not Consider Mitral Valve Surgery?

  • Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery may not be advisable in certain situations, such as:
  • High Comorbidity: Patients with multiple severe health conditions.
  • Non-Severe Mitral Valve Disease: Cases where Mitral Valve Repair, a less invasive and lower-risk procedure, could be more suitable for achieving favourable post-operative outcomes.

Preparation for Mitral Valve Surgery:

  • Before undergoing Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery, specific preparatory steps are essential for a successful procedure:
  • Medical Testing: Comprehensive medical tests, including echocardiography and consultation with various medical departments, such as cardiology and neurology, are performed to gather essential information about the patient’s heart condition.
  • Medication Assessment: Patients are advised to inform their doctors about the medications and supplements they are taking. Timing of medication administration is critical, and any allergies should be communicated.
  • Fasting: Patients are typically instructed not to eat or drink before the surgery.
  • Arranging Post-Operative Care: Planning for a ride back home and ensuring a support system in place is essential. Family and relatives should be informed about the hospital stay and may need to assist with transportation and household tasks.

Diagnosis of Mitral Valve:

Mitral Valve Disease is diagnosed through a series of tests, imaging procedures, and a review of medical history. Common signs and symptoms include fatigue, dizziness and light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain, cyanosis, and fluid retention in the lower limbs. Diagnosis typically includes:

  • Echocardiogram: Provides detailed insights into the Mitral Valve’s condition and its function, aiding in diagnosing various heart valve diseases.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): Detects irregular heart rhythms, heart disease, and enlarged heart chambers by measuring the heart’s electrical signals.
  • Chest X-ray: Offers information about the heart’s and lungs’ condition, indicating if the heart has enlarged due to certain valve problems.
  • Cardiac MRI: Utilizes magnetic fields and radio waves to create comprehensive heart images, assisting in determining the severity of Mitral Valve disease.
  • Exercise Stress Test: Monitors the heart’s response to physical activity, indicating the emergence of valve dysfunction symptoms during exercise.

Stages of Mitral Valve Disease:

  • Mitral Valve Disease is categorized into four stages:
  • Stage A: At risk.
  • Stage B: Progressive, with mild valve disease.
  • Stage C: Asymptomatic severe, signifying severe valve disease without cardiac symptoms.
  • Stage D: Symptomatic severe, denoting severe symptomatic heart valve disease, often necessitating Mitral Valve Replacement.

Mitral Valve Treatment:

In cases where the Mitral Valve is damaged or fails to function correctly, Mitral Valve Replacement becomes a necessary intervention. The procedure includes either repairing the existing valve or replacing it with an artificial metal or biological valve. The choice depends on various factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, presence of other medical conditions, and heart function.

  • Metal Valve: Offers lifelong durability but necessitates blood-thinning medication.
  • Biological Valve: Lasts 15 to 20 years and does not require blood-thinning medication.

Mitral Valve Surgery Procedure:

  • Mitral Valve Surgery typically involves the following steps:
  • The surgeon accesses the heart and the damaged valve by opening the chest.
  • Tissue or calcium deposits obstructing the valve’s function are removed.
  • The faulty Mitral Valve is replaced with an artificial valve, securely sutured in place.
  • The new valve’s functionality is verified, ensuring optimal blood flow.
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass (CPB) is used to maintain blood circulation during surgery.

Potential Complications of Mitral Valve Replacement:

  • Complications associated with Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery may include:
  • Haemorrhage
  • Blood clots
  • Malfunction of the replacement valve
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Infection
  • Stroke
  • Rarely, death

Post-Operative Care after Mitral Valve Surgery:

  • In most cases, Mitral Valve Replacement patients stay in the hospital for five to seven days, though this duration may vary for minimally invasive procedures.
  • Pain medication is provided during the initial days after surgery.
  • Regular monitoring of vital signs ensures a safe recovery.
  • Infections should be carefully monitored and reported immediately to the doctor.
  • Full recovery may take several weeks to months, contingent on the type of surgery and the rate of healing.
  • Adequate support at home is crucial, and family and friends should be informed about post-operative care and transportation assistance.

Your Heart’s Health is Our Priority

At ILS Hospitals, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive cardiac care, including advanced Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery. Your heart health is in expert hands.

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