Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral valve replacement is a cardiac surgical procedure. The procedure is done to restore a mitral valve that is not working properly. The mitral valve is located in the middle of the left heart chamber which is the left atrium and left ventricle. Valve replacement is open heart surgery. In some cases, minimally invasive surgery or a catheter procedure may be necessary.
Indications for Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral Valve Stenosis – When a mitral valve does not open properly and obstructs blood flow. It is mainly due to an infection (infectious endocarditis).
Mitral Valve Regurgitation – It occurs when the mitral valve does not close properly and blood is allowed to flow back into the left atrium.
Signs and Symptoms
May be asymptomatic for many years. Some signs and symptoms of mitral valve disease may include:
- Heart murmur on auscultation.
- Easy fatigue.
- Swelling in the ankles and test.
- Irregular heartbeat.
Tests and Diagnosis
- Physical Examination – A physical examination by a physician will reveal the heart’s babble.
- Echocardiography – An echocardiogram helps your doctor to recognize the mitral valve and its function.
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – An ECG can detect enlargement of the heart chambers, heart disease, and an abnormal heartbeat.
- Chest X-ray
- Cardiac MRI
- Stress tests
You may be interested in: Mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement
- Standard blood tests are done to find patients suitable for surgery.
- The patient is advised of the procedure and its aftermath.
- The procedure is done under general anesthesia.
- An IV line and a breathing tube are inserted.
- A cut is made in the central part of the chest. The surgeon separates the sternum to reveal the pericardium. Afterward, it opens the pericardium to reveal the heart.
- The heart is connected to the heart-lung machine by this device. Tubes are connected to transfer the blood into a machine that covers the function of the heart and lungs throughout the operation.
- The heart is stopped for a moment and blood is removed. The valve is motionless. This allows the doctor to understand it.
- The surgeon cuts all over the damaged valve and restores it.
- After valve replacement, patients are generally required to remain in the hospital for a week.
- You will remain in the intensive care unit (ICU) for the first few days.
- The function of your heart, lungs, and body will be closely monitored. The ventilator will be set until the patient can breathe.
- Drain tube – A small tube connected to your chest to drain away the spread of blood or fluids in your heart.
- Pacing wires – if it is necessary insert these wires near your chest drains to manage your heart rate.
- You are advised to follow a cardiac rehabilitation program.
- You will be advised to avoid strenuous exercise, stress, and heavy lifting for about three months.
- You can resume normal activities after 4 to 6 weeks.
- You will be advised to inform your physician of any signs of infection.
- Regularly checking the heart valve’s performance should be done by your doctor.
- If you have a mechanical heart valve, it is necessary to take anticoagulant medicine which helps to prevent clots.
Helpful: Structure of Mitral valve
Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Surgery
In endoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes 1 to 4 small holes in your chest. A camera and special surgical tools are used to perform surgery on the cuts.
Robotically-Assisted Valve Surgery
This surgeon makes 2 to 4 tiny cuts in your chest. The surgeon uses a special computer to control the robotic arm during surgery.
Complications of Valve Surgery
- Excessive bleeding.
- Risk of infection.
- Blood clotting.
- Infection around the artificial valve.
- Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia.
- Failure of the newly installed valve.
- Pulmonary edema, pulmonary thromboembolism.
- Renal failure.
Factors Affecting Cost Of Mitral Valve Replacement
- The cost to the patient depends on a variety of factors:
- The hospital the patient chooses.
- Types of rooms.
- Fees for the doctor and his or her team, as well as OT charges.
- Cost of medications.
- Standard tests and diagnostics.
- Cost of the valve.
- The cost of protection and care during and after surgery.