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Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement surgery is a vast improvement from old-fashioned surgical techniques. Most patients that require aortic valve surgery are well into their 70's and 80's and they wrongly feel they are too old and frail to withstand a surgical procedure. Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement is a life saver and a game changer. This article will show you how these advanced surgical techniques allow a fast and painless postoperative recovery at any age.
The most common aortic valve pathology is stenosis. This condition is characterized by an exuberant calcification that gradually stiffens the valve and prevents it from opening wide. The heart is then forced to push hard against a valve that barely opens until it tires out and causes symptoms of fatigue, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting spells and leg swelling. If an operation is not offered at this point about 75% of patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis will pass away within two years, no matter what medical therapy they are on. It is shocking but true.
The good news is that the chances of the average patient to do well with surgery are very high, around 98%. In other words, surgery is about 25 to 35 times safer than medical therapy in treating severe aortic stenosis patients. If anybody asks: 'Doctor, don't you think my mother is too old and frail to withstand an open heart operation?', the answer is that she is too old and frail to withstand severe aortic stenosis. Surgery is the only effective therapy. It is the solution, not the problem.
The issue here is that most people are afraid of surgery and wrongly think it is a dangerous option. They envision enormous pain and suffering, great danger and a miserable recovery. You saw the statistics and you now know that not offering surgery is a bad option. Minimally invasive heart surgery is making a surgical choice a lot easier on patients and their families.
Minimally invasive aortice valve surgery is performed through a 2' incision between the ribs with no bone cutting at all. Most patients experience minimal bleeding with very few of them requiring a blood transfusion. This tiny incision can be easily numbed up with local anesthetics and patients wake up pain free after surgery and are often able to return to their home and families in two to three days. That is why this technique is a game changer.
If you or a loved one are in need of aortic valve surgery, contact a reputable minimally invasive heart surgery center and learn about your best options.