The aortic valve is usually not repaired, but is the most common valve to be replaced, according to MedlinePlus. The success rates of heart valve surgery are high. Average hospital stays are between 5 and 7 days, depending on the type of surgery.Continue Reading
Surgery to replace an aortic valve is usually an open-heart procedure, according to WebMD. Before open-heart valve surgery, the patient is placed on a respirator under general anesthesia. The surgeon then makes an incision through the chest and breastbone, exposing the heart. The patient is placed on a heart-lung machine that circulates oxygen-enriched blood throughout the body, bypassing the heart. The heart is then temporarily stopped, and the aorta is incised to expose the aortic valve.
After evaluating the extent of the damage to the valve and aorta, the surgeon cuts out the valve, explains WebMD. If the aorta itself is damaged, a potion is removed and replaced with a graft that makes up part of the replacement valve. The surgeon then decides on the most appropriate replacement valve and sews it into place. The artificial valve is either mechanical and manufactured from synthetic material or is made out of animal tissue, typically from a pig.
In some aortic replacements, the surgeon uses the patient's own pulmonic valve to replace the aortic valve, reports MedlinePlus. The pulmonic valve is then replaced with an artificial valve. Complete recovery usually takes between a few weeks and several months, depending on the health of the patient prior to surgery.Learn more about Cardiac Health