Your Dignity Health North State doctor may recommend a heart valve repair procedure if one of the valves in your heart does not close properly, or has become stiff and narrow. In general, cardiologists work to save your heart valve tissue whenever possible, rather than replacing it with a mechanical device.
Dignity Health North State provides high-quality heart care, including advanced heart valve repair, in Northern California. Find a Doctor today and have an important conversation about your heart health.
When is Heart Valve Repair Appropriate?
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart valve disease, but your condition is not severe enough for valve replacement, your doctor may recommend heart valve repair. Valve repair may be the right therapy for the following conditions:
- Regurgitation — when blood seeps back into the heart chamber because the valve doesn’t close tightly
- Stenosis — causes valves to become stiff or misshapen, and unable to work properly
- Narrowing of the valves — caused by buildup of fatty plaque or other materials
What to Expect from Heart Valve Repair at Dignity Health North State
Several surgical options are available for heart valve repair, including minimally invasive procedures and traditional, open heart surgery.
Minimally invasive heart valve repair options include balloon valvuloplasty and robotic valve surgery. In balloon valvuloplasty, a tiny balloon is inserted into your heart through a heart catheterization procedure, and the valve is “stretched” into a more functional form. In robotic valve surgery, your heart is accessed through small incisions in the chest, and the damaged valve is repaired with the assistance of a robotic device.
Open heart valve repair procedures include ring annuloplasty, when a round piece of plastic or cloth is sutured around the valve to repair a leak, and valve repair, when the tissue flaps that form the “doors” of your valve are trimmed and reshaped for better functionality.
Managing Your Recovery
Heart valve repair, even when performed with minimally invasive techniques, is considered major surgery. You should expect to stay in an intensive care unit following your procedure, and to remain in the hospital for several days. Before you are discharged, your heart care team will provide you with specific take-home instructions for certain activities to avoid while you heal.
Typically, recovery from valve repair surgery takes anywhere between four and six weeks. Your overall health will impact how quickly you are able to return to your normal routine. Eating a healthy diet and following your doctor’s recommendations for a gradual increase in your physical activity will help you resume your normal life.
Our Dignity Health North State doctors, nurses, and staff are committed to treating the entire person, not just their condition. Learn more about our approach to care with respect and humankindness.
Dignity Health provides advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols, including heart valve repair, in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.