How long does it take to recover from heart valve surgery?
Recovering from valve surgery usually takes most people between 4 and 8 weeks. If you had minimally invasive surgery, you may recover even sooner. Before you leave hospital, you’ll be given detailed instructions for exercise, medications, ongoing wound care and resuming normal activities.
Heart valve surgery is a surgical procedure done to treat heart valve disease that affects at least one of the four heart valves, namely the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve, and aortic valve.
As these valves maintain blood flow in the right direction, and any defect in opening and closing them leads to a disruption in the blood flow through the heart to the body.
In heart valve surgery, the diseased valve is repaired or replaced through several surgical techniques, including open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery.
Reason for heart valve surgery
The presence of one of these things may be a reason for a heart valve surgery, including the following:
- A defect in the valve led to the appearance of some symptoms such as: chest pain, shortness of breath and fainting spells.
- Test results indicate valve changes that seriously affect heart function.
- You had a heart valve operation in the past that didn’t work, or you suffer from other problems, such as: blood clotting or infection.
Types of heart valve surgery
There are two types of heart valve operation. The appropriate type for the patient’s condition is determined according to the results of several tests, taking into account several other factors, such as: the structure of the heart, age, other diseases, and the nature of the patient’s life. The types of heart valve surgery are classified as follows:
1. Valve repair process
In the valve repair process, only the damaged part of the valve is repaired and there is often no need to use additional artificial parts.
This procedure is distinguished from the valve replacement process in several respects, including the following:
- Decreased chance of infection.
- Less need for anticoagulant medication.
- Maintaining heart strength.
The most common valve for valve repair is the mitral valve, but this type of heart valve procedure is also used to repair problems with the aortic valve and the tricuspid valve.
2. Valve replacement process
In valve replacement, the affected valve is replaced with a mechanical valve or a biological valve to perform the same purpose required of a normal valve. A mechanical valve is usually made of carbon and polyester while a biological valve is made from human or animal tissue.
This procedure is used instead of valve repair in advanced cases where there is no chance of valve repair and replacement is the only solution.
Preparing for heart valve surgery
The process is prepared through the following:
Things that the medical staff may ask you to prepare before the operation and bring with you to the hospital include the following:
- A list of the medicines you take.
- Personal care items such as toothbrushes, comb and shaving equipment.
- Comfortable and spacious clothes.
- Eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dental kits.
- Things that help you relax, such as music or books.
- A copy of the directions previously given to you.
2. During operation
On the other hand, during the practical process, you should take care to remove the following things:
- Prescription glasses.
- Nail polish.
- Contact lenses .
You will also need to remove body hair and shower with a certain type of soap to prevent infection.
Heart valve surgery risks
Among the risks of having a heart valve operation are the following:
- Heart attack.
- Heart failure.
- Heart rhythm disturbances.
- brain attack.
- Having an infection.
- Breast bone healing problems.
- Fever and chest pain.
- Kidney failure .