Heart valve surgery is required when one of the valves is not opening as wide as it should or is not closing completely. Regardless of the cause, having the problem fixed is imperative to living a healthy life. If your heart valves are not functioning properly then there is potential for blood flow to be reduced. When the amount of blood that is flowing through your heart is less than it should be there can be major complications. Simply put, enough oxygen rich blood will not be able to reach the organs of the body. When this happens the heart will begin to work harder in an effort to supply these areas blood. The extra strain that is placed on the heart because of the valve problems can cause the heart to fail in some cases.
Heart valve Surgery and Causes
* One of the main reasons why heart valve surgery is necessary is because the heart valve won’t open up all the way. The main cause of this is because the valve has become hard or stiff from the buildup of calcium deposits or scarring from a past incident. When the valve doesn’t open all the way it is impossible for enough blood to get through.
* The heart valve not closing all the way will call fur surgical repair. The heart valves failure to close completely is most often caused by a tear in the valve. A tear can occur naturally and slowly over time. When this happens the blood will back up through the valve in the wrong direction. The end result is that enough blood does not make it through the heart.
* Repairing a valve during heart valve surgery is a less risky option than a total replacement. Heart valve repair will consist of working with the existing valve. Typically, a ring is sewn around the base of the valve to help support it. The extra support will give the valve the additional strength it needs to function properly.
* Heart valve replacement involves the removal of the dysfunctional valve and replacing it with a mechanical or natural valve. Mechanical valves are usually made from man made materials. They will last forever in most cases, however, there are some drawbacks. A person with a mechanical valve will have to be on blood thinner for the rest of their life in order to prevent clotting. A person who gets a valve replacement with a natural valve, such as a human donor valve, will never have to be on medication to thin the blood. However, natural replacements do not last as long as the mechanical ones. They will need replaced about every ten years.