You should tell your doctor as soon as you think you have symptoms. Once your aortic stenosis becomes severe, and you begin to have symptoms, getting treated immediately is important. Severe aortic stenosis can be treated by replacing your aortic heart valve. One way this can be done is through open heart surgery (also called surgical aortic valve replacement).
Surgical aortic valve replacement is a type of open heart surgery that is performed to replace a diseased aortic valve. It is performed through an incision in the chest and requires a patient be placed on a heart and lung blood machine while under general anaesthesia.
Open heart surgery is a very common, well-established procedure. More than 200,000 surgical valve procedures are performed across the world each year.1
An incision is made across the full length of the breast bone, or sternum. Open heart surgeries can be performed through smaller incisions. This gives the surgeon direct access to the heart.
You will be connected to a heart lung machine which temporarily takes over the function of the heart and maintains blood circulation throughout your body.
The surgeon will completely remove the diseased aortic valve and insert a new valve. This can be either a mechanical or biological valve.
Your doctor may use an ultrasound machine after the procedure to make sure your new valve is working properly.
Open heart surgery is a major surgical operation and it may take some time to recover. Talk to your doctor about what you can expect from recovery.
As with any medical procedure, there are risks. Serious complications, sometimes leading to re-operation or death, may be associated with open heart surgery. Other risks include stroke , infection, bleeding, abnormal heart rhythms , heart attack , kidney problems, etc.
Any medical procedure carries risks. You should obtain advice from your doctor as to your condition and appropriate treatment options. Before proceeding, you should seek an evaluation from an appropriately qualified health practitioner on a Heart Team.
Sometimes having additional information about a procedure is helpful in determining if it is right for you. Learn what you can expect before, during and after aortic valve replacement.