Valves are responsible to keep the blood flow in a single direction in the heart. When they fail to perform this function, external help is needed to help them function properly. There are usually two options in this case; repair or replace. Repairing a heart valve is not always an option, especially when the valve is beyond repair. This is when the doctors go for an aortic and mitral valve replacement to relieve the patient from the problem.
The heart valve replacement procedure is a complex one that is why the patient needs to be fully prepared before he or she goes into the surgery. Talk to your doctor about all the possible risks and complications and what to expect after the surgery. This will not only prepare you but also help you in the recovery process.
The procedure takes place through an incision in the chest through which the doctor takes the defective valve out and replaces it with the new valve. The same procedure takes place in the repair surgery where the doctors remove the excess calcium from the valve.
The surgery takes place under general anaesthesia and the patient does not experience anything during the procedure. After the surgery, the patient is kept in the hospital for a few days in an ICU unit to keep a close eye on all of his or her vitals and make sure that there are no complications arising because of the surgery. The patient is put on pain medications to ease the pain from the surgery and to help the patient relax so as to not stress the operated area.
The patient is moved to a recovery room when the doctors are sure that he or she does not need ICU care anymore. The approx stay at the hospital is up to ten days after the surgery.
At home, the patient’s family needs to make a few changes around the house to keep the sanitation around the patient. Keeping it clean will make sure that the patient does not get any infections in the healing incision. Keep the shoes out, sanitize your hands before entering the room and clean the room daily using alcoholic sanitizers to keep the germs away.
The patient should follow the diet given by the doctor strictly as it will help in problem-free recovery. Moreover, regular visits to the doctor should be maintained until the doctor gives the clear signal and the patient is okay to carry on the work.