The human heart is a vital part of the human body and it is one of if not the major organ in the human body. Once the human heart stops working, then technically the individual is dead. The heart is responsible for blood circulation and pumping of blood in humans. The heart consists of four chambers, the upper chamber is divided into two (right and left artery), same as the lower chamber (left and right Ventricle). There are valves connected to the entry points of this chambers, the valves make sure that blood moves in only one direction. The cusps which is a collection of tissues in the valves is responsible for the opening and closing of the valves.
The heart is made up of four valves namely: Pulmonary valve, Aortic valve, Tricuspid valve, Mitral Valve.
When the valves in the heart are damaged, there is a need to repair or replace them. The replacement or repair is known as the Heart Valve Repair or Replacement surgery. When a valve in the heart becomes damaged it becomes more difficult for the heart to pump blood and in some cases, if the valve is leaky, it can have less amount of blood pumped in the right direction. Normally the valves help prevent blood from leaking back to where it was pumped from. The valve has three smooth cusps that opens widely and closes tightly. When its damaged, it may be leaky or narrow. When the valve is leaky, the blood pumped leaks back to the ventricle instead of going in the required direction. On the other hand, when the valve is narrow, it limits the amount of blood passing out of the ventricle. this is the reason why its difficult for the heart to continue pumping the blood at its usual ratio and this leads to disruption in blood flow.
After a while, faulty valves can lead the heart muscles to become enlarged or the muscles can be weakened depending. In some severe cases, the walls of the left ventricle can actually become either thick or thin, this may also get to affect the right ventricle. This is what leads to heart failure.
Valve replacement is a medical procedure that is done to replace a faulty and restore it to its normal function. Heart valve replacement is a very delicate procedure as the human heart is stopped during this procedure. Thanks to technology, valve replacement has become very popular over the years. Technology has been able to provide us with two options for the Heart valve Replacement and they are:
- Artificial Heart Valves
- Tissue valves
Artificial valves also known as mechanical valves are produced from a special kind of carbon, which is known as the paracletic carbon. The great news about the paracletic carbon is that is durable, and in most cases last a lifetime. The only downside of the mechanical valve is that patients are to taken a routine blood thinning medication. This medication is to help avoid blood clot.
Tissue valves also known as biological valves are gotten from the tissues of animals and are more like the original valves. The good news about it is that patients don’t need to take the anti-clotting drugs. However, is that the tissue valves do not last for very long and replacement surgery might be required in the future.
Also the replacement procedure is also an astonishing work of technology as the heart is stopped and the cardiopulmonary bypass or heart-lung machine is used to continue pumping blood in the body. The heart-lung machine takes over the heart and continues the work of the heart. It is also amazing, how the heart is able to come back to live and continue with the pumping with the new valves in place without any issues.