Double Valve Replacement

Introduction

Double valve replacement is a medical surgery in which the entire left side of the heart (the aortic and mitral valve) is removed and replaced with artificial or biologic valves. This surgery is performed on patients suffering from heart disorders caused by malfunctioning of the valves. The valves are responsible for maintaining the blood flow in the chambers of the heart. They open and close according to the blood pressure on each side. However, when the valves do not open or close properly, it causes heart problems in the patient and may need surgery.


When is it performed?

It is performed in patients suffering from valve malfunctioning. It is conducted after a complete inspection of the heart and the cardiologist considers several factors such as the age of the patient, their health, heart function, other medical condition before recommending surgery. It is recommended only after medications and alternative therapies fail to produce results in the patient.


How is it performed?

It is performed under general anesthesia and can take four to six hours, depending on the complexity of the operation. The surgery can be open or minimally invasive. The surgeon makes incisions into the aorta and then removes the valves. During the procedure, the patient is placed on a bypass machine so that blood is circulated through the body and the lungs continue to function. After removal, the valves are replaced with metal artificial valves or biological valves. After the replacement, the incisions are sealed.


Recovery

The patient stays in the hospital for around a week after the surgery. During this time, pain-relieving medicines are given and the patient is closely monitored as the risk of infection is high. After discharge, it takes four to six weeks to resume normal activities. During recovery, the patient should follow the precautions prescribed by the doctor in terms of diet and activities. They should also go for periodic checkups after the surgery to ensure proper healing.