If a valve in your heart is diseased or damaged, it can’t regulate the way blood flows properly, and your heart can’t pump efficiently. Your heart has to work harder than it should. The goal of heart valve surgery is to repair or replace a faulty valve to ease the strain on your heart, reduce your symptoms, and help prevent life-threatening complications.
Dignity Health Southern California offers leading expertise in heart valve surgery with a personal touch. Our cardiovascular surgeons partner with you from the diagnosis of heart valve disease to weighing your treatment options to recovering from heart valve surgery in Southern California. Learn more about our five ultramodern locations and Find a Doctor online.
Why We Perform Heart Valve Surgery
If your heart valve disease is mild, you may not need treatment now. However, heart valve disease can get worse over time and lead to life-threatening complications such as heart failure.
If your heart valve disease is severe, your doctor may recommend heart valve surgery. Symptoms of severe heart valve disease include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid retention
- Fluid retention
Types of heart valve surgeries we perform at Dignity Health Southern California include:
- Traditional open heart surgery to replace valves with biological or mechanical devices
- Minimally invasive valve replacements, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
- Minimally invasive heart valve repair — a thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through a large blood vessel in your leg, arm, or neck and threaded into your heart
What to Expect with Heart Valve Surgery at Dignity Health Southern California
Your heart valve surgery will be performed in a hospital where you will have the full support and care of a coordinated health care team. Depending on the type of heart valve surgery you have, you will receive either sedation or general anesthesia.
If you have open heart valve surgery, your surgeon will operate on your heart while it is still. That means a heart-lung machine will pump your blood.
If you have a minimally invasive procedure involving a catheter, you may feel some pressure or mild pain in your chest as your heart valve is being repaired or replaced.
After your heart valve surgery, you will rest in a comfortable recovery area before the recovery nurse takes you to a special cardiac care room for monitoring.
Heart Valve Surgery Recovery
Recovery can take from two to eight weeks, depending on your procedure. Open heart surgery generally involves a longer recovery time than minimally invasive surgery.
Your doctor will provide specific instructions for continuing to recover once you go home. The instructions may cover:
- Activity level
- Caring for your incision
Your doctor may also suggest cardiac rehabilitation to help you recover more quickly.
Be sure to stay in close contact with your Dignity Health Southern California health care team during your recovery and talk with your doctor about any concerns.
The compassionate doctors at Dignity Health perform specialized heart valve surgery in Southern California.