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Protecting The Gate Keepers Of Our Heart

The heart is composed of four valves that function as gatekeepers and traffic guards of the body. They make sure that the blood that the heart pumps passes in one direction. Each valve is composed of flaps which open and then shut after each heartbeat.

When you have a heart valve disease atleast one of these flaps stop functioning properly resulting in improper bloodflow to the rest of the organs.

How serious is it?

1.    Since the heart is one of the most important organs of our body, a heart valve procedure can be quite risky but if it's done by a renowned cardiologist who has experience behind him then it's quite safe.
2.    In the procedure the heart valve is replaced by a new one and sometimes if more than one valve is affected then two replacements are needed.
3.    The procedure to valve replacement surgery in India has two techniques, namely, minimally invasive surgery or open heart surgery, either of the two is used during the procedure.
4.    The minimally invasive heart surgery has less risk factors associated with it because the incisions aren't as big as compared to the open heart surgery.

Is there an alternative?

More often than not, there is an alternative. If you experience any of the symptoms that are associated with the valve not working then the  doctor will put you on medication along with asking you to do some excercise. When you have a valve disease a doctor recommends repair at first. However this medication may or may not be sufficient and a valve replacement surgery can become an absolute must for the longetivity of life.

What happens during the procedure and how can you prepare for it.

1.    If you have hair on the side of your chest where the incision has to be made then you must shave it.
2.    Jewellery and watches must be left behind at home.
3.    Since it's a procedure that requires you to be in the hospital for a few days it's advised that you carry a few books, magazines or music to pass the time. Leisure hardly comes to us nowadays and it's the best that we make most of it.
4.    When you're in the operation theatre you will be given anesthesia before you go under the knife. You will be attached to a heart lung bypass machine so that all your organs and blood vessels have the blood pumping through them.
5.    The surgery is to be performed with an incision in the chest. When it comes to a minimally valve replacement surgery, a smaller incision is made in the chest and sometimes a robotic arm assists the surgeon.
6.    Minimally invasive heart surgery has a shorter stay time and a faster recovery period. However it is something that should be performed by an expert team of doctors who know what exactly they're doing, having performed it before.

Types of heart valve replacement

There are two types of valve replacements, namely mechanical heart valve replacement and biological heart valve replacement. Each come with their own sets of benefits and risks.

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