• Heart Valve Surgery

    Heart valve surgery is a procedure to treat heart valve disease. Heart valve disease involves at least one of the four heart valves not working properly. Heart valves keep blood flowing in the correct direction through your heart. Heart Beat Now

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    Dr. Guy Fradet, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, discusses heart valve replacement surgery.
    Dr. Guy Fradet, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, discusses heart valve replacement surgery.
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    Dr. Stephen Fort, MD, MBChB, FRCSC, Cardiologist, discusses diagnosis and treatment for What is Heart Valve Surgery.
    Dr. Stephen Fort, MD, MBChB, FRCSC, Cardiologist, discusses diagnosis and treatment for What is Heart Valve Surgery.
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    Erita Habtom, BSc. Pharm, Clinical Pharmacist and Yana Shamiss, BSc. Pharm, Pharm D, CDE, Pharmacist, discusses what role a pharmacist takes before, during and after heart surgery.
    Erita Habtom, BSc. Pharm, Clinical Pharmacist and Yana Shamiss, BSc. Pharm, Pharm D, CDE, Pharmacist, discusses what role a pharmacist takes before, during and after heart surgery.
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    Cheryl Low, MN, NP-Adult, Nurse, explains the process of screening patients for minimally invasive heart valve surgery at Southlake Regional Health Centre.
    Cheryl Low, MN, NP-Adult, Nurse, explains the process of screening patients for minimally invasive heart valve surgery at Southlake Regional Health Centre.
  • What is a Heart Valve Replacement Operation?

    Heart valve surgery or valve replacement surgery in cardiac surgery is a very common procedure. Almost as equal but if not pretty close to coronary artery bypass surgery. So the other most common type of valve that will be used for replacement is what we call tissue or valve prosthesis. The most common tissues are cow tissue, made of the heart sac of the cow, or pig valve, and sometimes a combination of both.

                         

    Now there’s other options where we can use a cadaver valve or we can actually use a valve in another part of your heart and transfer it there. But those are the specific indications for that and it’s usually not the most common procedure.

    So if we restrict ourselves to mechanical and the tissue valve that’s usually the discussion you’ll have with your heart surgeons. We already mentioned that the mechanical valve you will have to go on blood thinners because they tend to clot.

    There are some risks associated with that for the rest of your life the other option is to take the tissue valve, you don’t necessarily need the blood thinner. You can just be on aspirin, but they wear out with time.

    And the younger you are when you get them, the faster they wear. So there’s specific indications again, but if you’re an elderly, probably a good option. So the most common valve that usually gets replaced is the aortic valve, and the most common reason is because it wears out.

    This is the aorta there where the red blood comes out of the heart, and the valve is right there. The role of the valve is to prevent the blood when the heart ejects or pumps. When it relaxes, the valve closes and it prevents the blood going back into the heart.

    Typically the way we replace that valve is we make a cut in that pipe, and already by that time you’re on cardiopulmonary bypass so you’re connected to a machine that takes the blood away from your heart and your lungs.

    The machine does the work, and we stop the heart, and it allows us to open, do our work so through that pipe here we go and take that valve out. And we’ll put either a tissue valve or a mechanical valve and then we close and we fill the heart back with blood, and then we restart the heart, and we’re done.

    If you think that you need valve replacement surgery or valve interventions, the first step again is discuss this with your family doctor. He can then refer you to the appropriate person typically the cardiologist or the surgical team.

    Most commonly it would a team that’s assessing you, your options will be reviewed, and recommendation based on your lifestyle and your comorbidities.  Often seeing a local family physician or a pharmacist in conjunction with a registered dietitian, a local athletic therapist  is a great option to take control of dehydration. In conjunction with healthy eating, exercise. Presenter: Dr. Guy Fradet, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Kelowna, BC

    Now Health Network Local Practitioners: Cardiothoracic Surgeon

  • What is Heart Valve Surgery

    Well, patients waiting for valve surgery either an open chest procedure, which is the routine, or the newer procedure, which is a percutaneous valve procedure, otherwise known as a TAVI, they’re all triaged before they’re given a date for their surgery.  
    Not all patients can have an operation at the time of their first diagnosis or their first admission. Some patients will have to wait a few weeks or months and have it done as an elective procedure, or patients that triaged at the time of the diagnosis.  
    So that date for surgery takes into account their presence in terms and the risk and the expected rate of decline that’s possible for their condition.  

    But unexpected things do happen. Obviously patients who are waiting valve surgery need to be monitored for unexpected deterioration, and the usual deterioration is either in symptoms of heart failure or angina or light headedness and dizziness.  
    And so for that reason it’s very important to monitor all patients for symptoms that have increased beyond which are present at the time that they saw the surgeon.
    So any increase beyond what their normal is  – an increasing breathlessness, ankle swelling, chest pain, light headedness, dizziness – should alert the patient to contact their physician, the surgeon, the cardiologist, and the surgical coordinator should be contacted. If there is any problem there, the patient should be referred to the emergency department, and the date for surgery may well be rescheduled.  It's also important that the increased use of pre-surgical assessment clinics will hopefully pick up those patients that cannot wait for their date of elective surgery and are deteriorating.  In the advent of any deterioration, the patient should contact their physician. The surgeon, the cardiologist, or the surgical coordinator need to be informed. If there’s any problems with this, the patient should be seen in the emergency department and reassessed. The increased use of pre-surgical assessment clinics is hopefully preventing these deteriorations and picking up these patients as an earlier stage. Presenter: Dr. Stephen Fort, Cardiologist, Kelowna, BC

    Local Practitioners: Cardiologist

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