The heart contains four valves and aortic valve is one of them. These valves regulate the flow of blood into the heart. The semilunar valves include the aortic and the pulmonic valves and the atrioventricular valves include the tricuspid and mitral valves. The aortic valve is trileaflet. It is surrounded by a fibrous kind of tissue that form rings around it that is called the annuli or the valvular rings. The aortic valve is situated between the ascending aorta and the left ventricle. It is basically located in the centre of the heart. The aortic valve is formed during the fourth week of pregnancy. During the systole, blood enters the aorta from the left ventricle and during the ending of the systole the aortic valves close down and this closure makes a sound that is the second sound of the heart S2.
In several cases, the aortic valves get affected and aortic valve replacement surgery is needed during those times. It is a surgical procedure when the patient’s aortic valves are taken out and are replaced with artificial valve. The aortic valve gets affected mainly because of aortic stenosis or aortic insufficiency. Generally open-heart surgery is performed for this kind of surgery. However, recent improvement in technology have improved the conditions of the aortic valve replacement surgery and now another more improved technique is performed i.e. the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery, which is not open-heart surgery but involves a catheter that delivers the mechanical valve to the required site of the heart.
In the case of aortic valve replacement surgery in India, generally the mechanical valves are made up of animal tissues and are called tissue valves. These tissues are obtained from the valves of the hearts of the animals or animal pericardial tissues. There are mechanical valves as well. Sometimes even human valves are placed in place of the patient’s own valve. These homograft valves are generally obtained from donors. Pulmonaryauto graft or Ross procedure is another way by which this operation is done on the human body. In this case, the aortic valve is replaced with the pulmonary valve of the patient. Pulmonary homograft then replaces the patient’s pulmonary valve.
During the surgery, the patient gets life support from the heart-lung machine and the heart is stopped for doing the surgery. At times patients feel very bad after the surgery, but it gets okay with time. This is a big surgery and takes time for recovery. Patients are put on the Intensive Care unit for one to two days and then in the general bed for about five days and then if the condition is found to be better, then the patient is allowed to go home. Even after going back home, the patient is puton total bed rest and certain things are not allowed to be done. Full recovery will take time for about two more months, and during this time, any heavy work shouldn’t be done. Even driving is not allowed during this time.
So, go for aortic valve replacement surgery if needed because the cost of aortic valve replacement surgery is affordable, and you shouldn’t ignore aortic valve problems.