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Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

By Finserv MARKETS - Jul 2,2020
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Heart Valve Replacement Surgery - Types & Cost

The thing about being hale and hearty is that people usually take it for granted. While leading a healthy life is quite a boon, some people simply are unfortunate. Many people are born with rheumatic heart disease that becomes fatal, as they grow old. Also, some people acquire heart disease due to their bad lifestyle habits.

No matter what the reason is, it is certain that one cannot lead a fulfilled life with such a condition. Hence, patients are suggested to undergo heart valve replacement surgery, also known as open-heart surgery. Let us understand what a heart valve replacement surgery is and how much it costs in India.

What is a Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

Heart valves are vital passages that allow blood flow in and out of the heart and to other parts of the body. Any malfunctioning in the valves can cause the heart to expend more efforts in pumping the blood. This further causes strain on the heart, especially if the patient is suffering from this condition for a long time.

Hence, heart valve surgery is recommended to ensure the valves function appropriately. A heart valve replacement surgery is performed to replace a valve of your heart with an artificial one. The prosthetic valve is sewed in the place of the damaged one to ensure the proper functioning of the organ.

What Conditions Require a Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

The following are the conditions that will require this surgery –

Condition

Details

Congenital Heart Disease

It is a defect that an individual is born with, and can lead to a condition known as aortic valve regurgitation.

Here, the valves fail to function properly, and the blood flows back into the ventricle.

If the condition is not diagnosed and treated on time, it can lead to complications such as heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, or heart failure.

Aortic Valve Regurgitation

As explained earlier, aortic valve regurgitation is a condition that is usually acquired from birth.

Due to this condition, the valves allow the blood to flow back into the ventricles.

If not from birth, this condition can arise due to a bacterial infection that weakens the valve as well.

Aortic Valve Stenosis

In this condition, it becomes harder for the heart to pump blood as the aortic valve is too narrow or obstructed.

It can be caused due to congenital heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, or thickening of valve flaps.

Types of Heart Valve Used For Replacement

There are two types of the heart valve that can be used during the replacement surgery –

  1. Bioprosthetic Valve

  2. Mechanical Valve

Bioprosthetic heart valves are also known as tissue heart valves and are harvested from animal tissue. It tends to last for over 15 years and is recommended for senior citizens. This valve is not an ideal choice for younger patients as it degenerates quite quickly.

Mechanical heart valves are made artificially from carbon alloy. It is more long-lasting compared to bioprosthetic heart valves. The only downside of mechanical heart valves is that the patient requires blood-thinning medication for the rest of their lifetime.

How to Prepare for the Heart Valve Replacement Surgery?

The medical team responsible for the surgery will guide you through it. They will explain the procedure and the complications involved in it. Some question that the patients should ask the medical team are as follows –

  • Will the medication regime need to be altered before/after the surgery?

  • What diet should be followed before/after the surgery?

  • What is the physical activity recommended or permitted before/after the surgery?

  • How long does it take to recover from the surgery?

  • What will be the cost of the surgery and medical treatments after that?

Tentative Cost for Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

As we all know, critical surgeries are now possible due to advancements in modern science and technology. But these surgeries can be hefty on one’s savings. The average cost of the heart valve replacement surgery is around INR 2 Lakh to INR 4 Lakh and mainly depends on the complications of the patient.

While an individual needs utmost family support during this time, it can get a bit too overwhelming for everyone involved. Plus paying the cost of the surgery from one’s pocket can put a strain on theirs and their family’s financial future. While health insurance can help take care of this cost, what happens if the health coverage falls short?

In such a situation, it is always wise to have a policy that one can rely on in times of medical emergencies. And term insurance with critical illness benefits is just the plan that is worth consideration. A basic term insurance plan will not cover any critical health condition. To cover the expenses of the heart valve replacement surgery, it is necessary to have a critical illness add-on cover bought beforehand.

Bajaj Allianz Life Smart Protect Goal Term Insurance at Finserv MARKETS offers critical illness cover to you at an affordable price. With this plan under your name, you can avail a lump sum benefit for the treatment of any one of over 55 critical illnesses, including heart valve replacement surgery.

Complications and Risk that may Arise

The following are the risk associated with the surgery –

  • Blood clotting

  • Excessing bleeding

  • Dysfunction of replaced valve

  • Arrhythmia

  • Stroke

  • Infections

  • Death

What are the Precautions to Take?

  • The patient should follow the doctor’s recommendation and prescribed medication religiously

  • Having a good diet helps speed the recovery process

  • The patient should pace gradually with their daily activities during the recovery period

  • Before taking up any rigorous physical activity, check with the doctor

  • Include moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week after the surgery

FAQs related to Heart Valve Replacement Surgery

Q: How dangerous can the heart valve replacement surgery be?

A: Over 90 percent of the patients who undergo this surgery do not face any complications. The risk of death immediately after the surgery is 1-2 percent.

Q: How long does heart valve replacement surgery take?

A: The surgery can take anywhere between two to four hours. The patient is needed to stay in the hospital post-surgery for at least a week. At times, they also need to spend at least 1-3 days in the ICU.

Q: What are the symptoms of heart valve problems?

A: The symptoms of the heart valve issue are as follows –

  • Heart murmurs

  • Chest pain

  • Irregular heart rhythm

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Bouts of fainting

Q: What are the most common complications of the heart valve replacement surgery?

A: Some of the common complications of the surgery include heart attack, stroke, or infections.

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