Aortic Valve Surgery
You may need surgery if your heart’s aortic valve doesn’t properly control blood flow from your heart to the aorta, the body’s main artery. A damaged valve may not:
- Tightly close, causing aortic regurgitation, or insufficiency
- Fully open, causing aortic stenosis
Either condition can lead to chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of endurance, or swollen feet or legs.
Aortic Valve Replacement
Most of the time, your AnMed surgeon will treat a damaged aortic valve by replacing it. A surgical replacement has a long, successful track record and may be your best treatment option.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a newer, less invasive treatment. Instead of reaching your heart through your chest, TAVR makes a tiny incision over an artery in your upper thigh and threads the new valve up to your heart. Compared to surgery, TAVR leads to a faster recovery.
Ask your doctor which treatment option is right for you.
Aortic Valve Repair
If you have aortic regurgitation, a surgeon may repair your aortic valve to stop blood from leaking backward into your heart. This treatment offers an alternative to blood-thinning medications.
Mitral Valve Surgery
Your heart’s mitral valve may need to be repaired or replaced if the valve doesn’t keep blood flowing properly through the heart. A damaged valve can:
- Loosen, causing mitral valve regurgitation, or insufficiency
- Harden, or calcify, causing mitral valve stenosis
Either condition can cause symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and swollen feet or legs.
Mitral Valve Repair
An AnMed surgeon may repair your mitral valve by doing one of the following:
- Reshaping the flaps that open and close the valve
- Inserting a ring around a loose valve to tighten it
Mitral Valve Replacement
If you experience severe mitral valve regurgitation or stenosis, a surgeon may exchange your damaged valve for a long-lasting valve made of titanium, carbon or natural tissue. Your surgeon will recommend the right type of valve based on your health, age and lifestyle.
Less Invasive Approaches
Traditional, open-heart surgery divides your sternum (breastbone) to access your heart. But in many cases, AnMed surgeons take a minimally invasive approach that affects less of your breastbone to reduce pain and recovery time after surgery. You may qualify for the less invasive technique if:
- You need treatment for only one heart valve
- A chest CT scan shows you’re a candidate
No matter what approach your procedure uses, rest assured that you’re in good hands at AnMed. You’ll get close, personal care and attention during your recovery to help you get back to your everyday life safely.
Recovery After Valve Surgery
Depending on your procedure, you’ll stay in the hospital for up to four days. Before you go home, we’ll schedule a follow-up appointment so your surgeon can check your incision and answer your questions. Within a few weeks, you’ll start cardiac rehabilitation to restore your heart’s strength and increase your energy, so you can enjoy a more active life
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have a question about your heart procedure, call your surgeon’s office.
Need a cardiologist? Ask your primary care provider for a referral or call AnMed WellnessConnect at 864-512-3748 for help finding a doctor.