Heart valves transplantation : Detailed explanation

What Is Heart Valves Transplantation?

Heart valve surgical procedure and processes are completed to repair or replace a valve within the heart that is not rumuch less invasive techniques appropriate for a few forms of valvular heart ailment, but they're most effectively achieved at hospitals.

Sometimes heart valves can not be repaired and have to be replaced. This surgical treatment entails eliminating nicely due to valvular heart disorder (also known as heart valve disease). Heart valve surgery is an open-heart surgical procedure thru the breastbone, into the chest. It is a main operation which can close  hours or longer and recovery regularly takes numerous weeks. There are more modernizing the defective valve and replacing it with a person-made valve or a biologic valve.

Biologic valves are crafted from pig, cow or human coronary heart tissue and may have guy-made components as well. These valves are in particular handled, so no drug treatments are needed to prevent the frame from rejecting the valve.

Medical Term

Heart valve transplantation, also known as heart valve replacement, is a surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged or malfunctioning heart valve and replacing it with a healthy valve obtained from a human donor, an animal source, or a synthetic material. The heart has four valves—two atrioventricular valves (the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve) and two semilunar valves (the aortic valve and the pulmonary valve). These valves play a crucial role in regulating blood flow through the heart by ensuring that blood moves in the correct direction.

When a heart valve becomes diseased due to conditions such as valvular stenosis (narrowing) or valvular regurgitation (leakage), it can disrupt the normal blood flow and put extra strain on the heart. Severe valve conditions can lead to symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, and even heart failure. In such cases, heart valve transplantation may be recommended to restore proper heart function and alleviate symptoms.

There are several types of heart valve replacements:

  • Mechanical Valve Replacement: Mechanical valves are made from durable materials like metal or ceramic. They are long-lasting and have a lower risk of deterioration over time. However, patients with mechanical valves need to take blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) for the rest of their lives to prevent blood clot formation.

  • Biological Valve Replacement: Biological valves, also known as tissue valves, can be obtained from human donors (allografts) or animals (xenografts), such as pigs or cows. They can also be created from synthetic materials coated with biological tissue. These valves do not require long-term anticoagulant therapy, but they may wear out over time and need replacement.

  • Transcatheter Valve Replacement (TAVR): TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that's typically used for aortic valve replacement. Instead of open-heart surgery, a new valve is inserted through a catheter, usually via an artery in the leg, and guided to the heart's location. TAVR is often performed on patients who are at high risk for traditional open-heart surgery.

The choice of valve replacement depends on various factors including the patient's age, overall health, the specific valve affected, and the surgeon's recommendation. The procedure itself involves opening the chest, accessing the heart, removing the damaged valve, and suturing the new valve into place. The patient is put on a heart-lung machine during the surgery to maintain blood circulation while the heart is temporarily stopped.

Heart valve transplantation is a well-established procedure that has helped improve the quality of life and extend the lifespan of many individuals with severe valve diseases. However, like any surgery, it carries risks, and the patient's medical team will thoroughly assess their suitability for the procedure and provide guidance on the best course of action.

Why do they replace heart valves?

The aortic valve may additionally want to get replaced for 2 motives: the valve has ended up narrowed (aortic stenosis) – the hole of the valve becomes smaller, obstructing the go with the flow of blood out of the coronary heart. The valve is leaky (aortic regurgitation) – the valve permits blood to float back thru into the coronary heart.

Is it better to repair or replace a heart valve?

Repair or Replace? It's typically high-quality to restore a valve and maintain someone's own coronary heart tissue whilst possible. However, while the tissue is too broken, a substitute valve may be used from any other human coronary heart, an animal or a synthetic mechanical valve.

How long does a valve transplant take?

The operation generally lasts a few hours. During the technique: a huge reduction (incision) round 25cm lengthy will be made alongside the middle of your breastbone to permit the medical professional to get entry to your coronary heart, even though in a few cases a smaller reduction can be made.

Team supervising the surgery

They include:

Types Heart valves transplantation


The ring round a valve within the coronary heart (annulus) can widen and exchange from its typical shape. This may also occur when the heart is enlarged or when you have a leaky valve (valve regurgitation). When the hoop is widened, the valve flaps attached to the hoop might not open and near efficiently. As a end result, blood can leak backward thru the valve.An annuloplasty can be performed to restore the valve. An annuloplasty can be performed with different strategies to repair a coronary heart valve.


An annuloplasty may be achieved during open-heart surgical procedure or minimally invasive coronary heart surgery, which entails smaller incisions.Researchers are studying less invasive approaches to perform annuloplasty and different coronary heart valve approaches using lengthy, skinny tubes. Such strategies are called transcatheter procedures.


A valvuloplasty is a method to repair a coronary heart valve that has a narrowed commencing.

  • Valvuloplasty can also be known as:

  • Valvuloplasty is finished to repair a narrowed heart valve (valve stenosis). It can be completed to deal with:

Untreated, a few styles of heart valve stenosis can cause headaches, which include abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) and coronary heart failure.

You and your health care company may also talk about whether or not valvuloplasty or any other treatment is right in your specific type and stage of coronary heart valve ailment. Valvuloplasty can be encouraged if you have severe valve narrowing. But a few people with heart valve disease need valvuloplasty although the condition isn't always excessive or when it's not inflicting symptoms.

The choice to have a valvuloplasty may additionally rely upon the valve affected. For example, the aortic valve tends to slim once more in adults who have had a valvuloplasty. So the method is typically carried out if you're too sick for surgery or are waiting for a valve replacement.


Valvuloplasty can also enhance blood flow through the heart and reduce symptoms. However, the valve might also narrow again. You may additionally need to have every other valvuloplasty or different coronary heart procedure, inclusive of valve restore or alternative, inside the future.

Four heart valves — the aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonary valves — open and close to let blood waft via the coronary heart. In a narrowed heart valve (stenosis), the valve flaps (leaflets) may additionally emerge as thick or stiff and fuse collectively. Valve stenosis reduces blood flow thru the valve.

A valvuloplasty may additionally improve blood float via the coronary heart valve. It can also enhance signs and symptoms of coronary heart valve sickness, consisting of shortness of breath or chest ache.

  • Balloon valvuloplasty

  • Balloon valvotomy

  • Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty

(catheter) tipped with a balloon right into a blood vessel, normally within the groin. The catheter is carefully guided to the narrowed valve inside the heart. Once in position, the balloon is inflated to widen the valve, improving blood waft. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter with the balloon is removed.

After the system, an overnight hospital stay is generally required. Regular health checkups and imaging tests of the heart are needed after valvuloplasty to make certain the coronary heart valve is working properly.

Why is this done?

Heart valve surgical operation is done to deal with heart valve ailment. There are  fundamental kinds of heart valve issues:

  • A narrowing of a valve (stenosis)

  • A leak in a valve that allows blood to flow backward (regurgitation)

You would possibly need coronary heart valve surgical operation when you have heart valve sickness that is affecting your coronary heart's potential to pump blood.

If you do not have signs or signs, or your circumstance is mild, your medical doctor would possibly propose ordinary tracking of the heart valve sickness. Lifestyle adjustments and medicinal drugs would possibly assist control signs.

Sometimes, doctors suggest coronary heart valve surgical procedures even for folks that do not have symptoms. If you want heart surgery for another situation, docs might perform coronary heart valve repair or alternative at the same time. Together, you and your physician have to talk about whether or not heart valve surgery is proper for you and if minimally invasive coronary heart surgery is a choice.

Eventually, your valve might need to be repaired or changed. In a few cases, doctors advise coronary heart valve restore or substitute even in case you're no longer having signs and symptoms. If you want heart surgical operation for another situation, docs might repair or replace the affected heart valve at the same time.

Your health practitioner will talk with you whether heart valve repair or substitute is more suitable in your situation. Doctors regularly recommend coronary heart valve repair while viable, because it preserves your heart valve and can hold heart features. But now and again valve replacement is essential and the best option.

Doctors might also examine in case you're a candidate for minimally invasive coronary heart surgery. Your health practitioner will speak about the blessings and dangers of each method.

If you want heart valve surgical procedure, if feasible, pick a scientific middle that has performed many heart valve surgical procedures.

Risks Heart valves transplantation

The threat of experiencing complications is generally better for older humans and people in normally negative health.Possible coronary heart valve surgical treatment dangers include:

Prepare for the procedure

Your medical doctor and treatment team will discuss your heart valve surgical treatment with you and answer any questions. Before being admitted to the health center for coronary heart valve surgical operation, talk to your own family about your health facility stay and talk assist you'll want while you return home.

Food - medications

Before you have heart valve surgical operation, speak to your medical doctor approximately:

  • When you may take your everyday medicines and whether you can take them earlier than your surgery

  • Allergies or reactions you've had to medications

  • When you should stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery

personal items

If you are having coronary heart valve surgical operation, your treatment team would possibly suggest that you deliver several items to the medical institution, including:

  • A list of your medications

  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures

  • Personal care items, such as a brush, a comb, shaving equipment and a toothbrush

  • Loose, comfortable clothing

  • A copy of your advance directive

  • Items that help you relax, such as portable music players or books

During heart valve surgery, don't wear:

  • Jewelry

  • Eyeglasses

  • Contact lenses

  • Dentures

  • Nail polish

You might also want to have your frame hair shaved in which the incisions may be made. A unique soap might be used to scrub your pores and skin to assist prevent infection.


During the procedure

You'll acquire anesthetics to put you in a snooze-like state at some stage in the technique. You'll be linked to a heart-lung skip device, which keeps blood shifting through your frame all through the procedure.

Heart valve surgery can be accomplished by the usage of fashionable open-heart surgical procedure, which entails cutting your chest thru your breastbone. Minimally invasive heart surgical treatment involves smaller incisions than those utilized in open-heart surgical operation.

Minimally invasive coronary heart surgical treatment consists of surgical treatment done using lengthy devices inserted thru one or extra small incisions inside the chest (thoracoscopic surgical operation), surgical treatment achieved thru a small incision in the chest, or surgical treatment carried out by using a health practitioner the use of the help of a robotic (robotic-assisted heart surgery).

Minimally invasive coronary heart surgical operation would possibly contain a shorter sanatorium life, faster restoration and much less pain than you'll have with open-heart surgical treatment. Minimally invasive coronary heart surgical treatment ideally has to be carried out at medical facilities with scientific groups experienced in acting on those styles of strategies.

Heart valve repair

Your health practitioner may also frequently endorse heart valve repair while viable, as it saves the coronary heart valve and may maintain coronary heart function. Heart valve restore surgical procedure may additionally include:

  • Patching holes in a valve

  • Reconnecting valve flaps (leaflets or cusps)

  • Removing excess valve tissue so that the leaflets or cusps can close tightly

  • Replacing cords that support the valve to repair the structural support

  • Separating valve flaps that have fused

  • Tightening or reinforcing the ring around the valve (annulus)

Some coronary heart valve restore methods are accomplished by the usage of a protracted, skinny tube (catheter) and clips, plugs or other devices.

Doctors might treat a valve with a narrowed valve opening with a catheter system known as balloon valvuloplasty. A physician inserts a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon on the tip into an artery to your arm or groin and publishes it to the affected valve.

The balloon is inflated, which expands the outlet of the coronary heart valve. Doctors then deflate the balloon and get rid of the catheter and balloon.

Heart valve replacement

If your heart valve can not be repaired and a catheter-based total procedure isn't always a choice, the valve would possibly need to be replaced. To replace a coronary heart valve, your health practitioner eliminates the heart valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or a valve made from cow, pig or human coronary heart tissue (biological tissue valve).

Biological valves regularly subsequently need to be replaced, as they ruin down over time. If you've got a mechanical valve, you'll want to take blood-thinning medications for the relaxation of your lifestyles to save you blood clots. Doctors will talk with you about the dangers and blessings of every sort of valve.

A minimally invasive catheter manner is probably used to replace sure coronary heart valves. For example, a catheter procedure might be carried out to insert a substitute valve into an organic substitute valve inside the heart that is no longer operating properly.

After the procedure

After your coronary heart valve surgical treatment, you may typically spend an afternoon or extra inside the extensive care unit (ICU). You'll obtain fluids and medications via an IV. Other tubes drain urine from the bladder and fluid and blood from the chest. You are probably given oxygen via a mask or nasal prongs in your nostril.

After you complete your stay within the ICU, you will probably be moved to some other clinic room for several days. How long you'll stay within the hospital relies upon your condition and surgery.

After heart valve surgical treatment, your remedy team will monitor your condition and look ahead to symptoms of contamination on the incision web sites. The crew will test your blood stress, respiratory and coronary heart charge. The team will also paint with you to control any pain you have after surgical treatment.

You'll possibly be requested to stroll regularly to gradually grow your pastime, and to cough and to do respiratory sporting events as you get better.

You'll be given commands to observe in the course of your recovery, which includes:

  • Watching for signs of infection in your incisions

  • Taking your medications

  • Properly caring for incisions

  • Managing pain and other side effects after your surgery


After coronary heart valve surgical operation, your medical doctor will let you know when you may return to sports.

You'll need to attend regular comply with-up appointments together with your doctor. You might have several exams to assess and screen your circumstance.

Your physician might also advocate making wholesome way of life modifications to keep your coronary heart operating nicely. Examples of heart-healthy way of life changes are:


After your transplant, your medical doctor might also recommend that you make exercise and pastime an everyday part of your lifestyles to continue to enhance your universal physical and mental health.

Exercising often can help you control your blood strain, lessen stress, maintain a wholesome weight, make your bones stronger and grow your physical function.

Your remedy crew will create an exercising software designed to satisfy your individual desires and desires. You'll participate in cardiac rehabilitation to help improve your endurance, energy and energy. Cardiac rehabilitation enables you to improve your health and get better after your coronary heart transplant.

Your workout program may additionally include warm-up sporting activities together with stretching or sluggish walking. Your treatment crew might also suggest on foot, bicycling, energy schooling and different exercise. Specialists within the treatment crew will probably propose which you calm down when you exercise, possibly by strolling slowly. Discuss with your remedy group what can be suitable for you.

Take a smash from exercising in case you sense worn-out. If you experience signs and symptoms which include shortness of breath, nausea, abnormal coronary heart fee or dizziness, prevent exercising. If your symptoms do not leave, contact your doctor right away.

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