Heart valve disease occurs if one or more of your heart valves do not work sufficiently. The heart has our valves: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves. These valves have tissue flaps that open and close with each heartbeat. The flaps regulate the blood flow throughout the heart and to the rest of the body.
Certain conditions such as birth defects, age-related changes, infections, or other disease can cause one or more of the valves to not open fully or allow blood to leak into the heart chambers. This can make your heart work harder and affect its ability to pump blood.
Heart Valve Disease can occur as one of two types: stenosis or insufficiency/regurgitation.
- Valvular Stenosis occurs when the flaps of the valves thicken, stiffen, or fuse together; thus preventing the valve to fully open and impedes blood flow.
- Valvular Insufficiency occurs when the leaflets do not close completely, letting blood leak backward across the valve, therefore causing regurgitation. Valve Repair or Replacement Surgical options for treating heart valve disease include repair or replacement of the valve. Having heart valve repair or replacement depends on many factors, including: the severity of your valve disease and your age, general health, and/or other comorbidities. Oftentimes, heart valve repair is preferred over heart valve replacement. The potential advantages of valve repair versus valve replacement are: less risk of infection, and decreased need for long-term anticoagulant (blood thinner) medication therapy, and is a less invasive surgery.
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
The Heart and Vascular Institute at Osceola Regional Medical Center are the leaders in minimally invasive heart surgery in Osceola County. Minimally invasive heart surgery is a type of surgery performed through smaller incisions than traditional heart valve surgery. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- A smaller incision
- Smaller scars
- Reduced risk of infection
- Less bleeding
- Less pain and trauma
- Decreased length of stay
- Decreased recovery time