Heart valve replacement is a surgical procedure by which a damaged heart valve is removed and substituted with grafts or parts from body tissues or with synthetic heart valves.

The procedure is live saving for patients suffering from valve defects. The procedure has excellent outcome & a majority of patients who have heart valve replacement return to normal activity after the surgery. The procedure greatly improves the quality of life of the patients as they no longer have difficulty breathing, fainting spells, or palpitations./p>

The surgeons use different types of artificial valves depending on a patient’s condition & requirement. The various kinds of valves used are:

  • Mechanical Valves - also called prosthetic valves. These valves are made of immunologically inert material that does not react with the body's own tissues. These valves are similar in structure and function as own heart valves permitting proper flow of blood through the heart chambers. The mechanical valves have an un-limited life span. Mechanical valves are resistant to the flow of blood and are prone to blood clot formation on the leaflets. As a result if you undergo Heart Valve Replacement with mechanical valves, then you will have to be on blood thinning medication for the rest of your life.
  • Tissue Valves - also called biological valves, bio-synthetic or bio-prosthetic valves. These valves are made from animal tissue i.e. pig tissue (porcine) or cow tissue (bovine) with fine mesh sewn around it to provide support and stability. The most important advantage of tissue valves is that after Heart Valve Replacement there is no danger of clot formation.
  • Homograft Valves - Homograft or allograft valves are obtained from human donors which are frozen under sterile conditions and used for qualified candidates. These valves are not as durable as mechanical or tissue valves.

The choice between an animal valve and a mechanical valve depends largely on the age of the patient. Because valves obtained from animals have a life expectancy of 7-15 years, they are usually given to older patients. Mechanical valves are used in younger patients because they are more durable. The mechanical valves are however made of foreign material & so blood clots can form on their surface. Therefore, patients who receive these valves must take anticoagulants for the rest of their lives. Donor or pulmonic valves are given only to those patients who will deteriorate rapidly because of a narrowing of the passageway between the aorta and the left ventricle (aortic stenosis). These valves are limited in their use because of the small supply available from donors and the strain that could be caused by removing and transferring a patient's own pulmonic valve.

Indicure is the leading medical tourism company in India which arranges for a complete range of cardiac surgery procedures for people looking for best services from across the world. For more details about valve replacement surgery please visit http://www.indicure.com/treatments/cardiac-procedure/cardiac-surgery/val... or write to info@indicure.com

Author's Bio: 

The author of the article is a consultant for heart valve replacement surgery facilitation with Indicure. She is extensively trained to handle all patient enquires before they embark on the medical tourism for India.