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Tech Innovations Make Heart Valve Replacements Simpler

Although our hearts naturally weaken as we age, there are numerous health disorders and ailments which can lend themselves to an under-performing heart. Numerous too are the many medical treatments and procedures which people can choose to undergo in order to boost their heart performance. However, due to refined surgical techniques, increased effectiveness and reduced recovery periods, value replacement surgery has come to be a very popular option around the world.

Not too long ago, valve replacement involved a massive surgery that would leave you bed-ridden for many months before reaching full recovery. Today there is a procedure which lasts just a few hours and can have you up and about in a matter of days. This new procedure would subject you to a bit of stimulation before the actual surgery, and combines catheter-based delivery with high-tech imaging.

The valves used in the surgical procedure are relatively normal. The only intricacy lies in the way the hardware is inserted. Conducted by means of catheters, the aortic valve is accessed via the femoral artery in the groin which feeds up to the heart. To keep the old valve out of the way, a balloon actuator is used to compress it as the new artificial valve is set in place and expanded until it is a perfect fit. The valve can also easily be retracted and reinserted if the surgeons finds themselves unhappy with the initial fitting.

Because this is heart surgery, if any, there is very little room for errors and surprises. Several new technologies and techniques are used in this procedure to ensure the most minimal chances of mishaps. 

To prevent internal positioning errors from occurring, surgeons can reduce the heart's normal beating rhythm with the use of certain drugs. The heart's beat can then be paced with an another catheter threaded in through the neck. This allows for accurate threading through the heart due to a controlled and forecasted heartbeat. In addition to this, new technology allows each patient's heart and heart rhythm to  be copied and fully re-simulated in order to let surgeons rehearse the entire procedure beforehand.

It isn't difficult to fathom why many people are resorting to valve replacement surgeries in order to aid the performance of their hearts. Today, the procedure is much safer, far less daunting and the minimized internal damage now allows for faster recovery.

Image: Extremetech.com

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Mvusi Ngubane

About Mvusi Ngubane

I am: A shoddy idealist or a fantasist in denial. A writer & creator of content. A storyteller, a story-seeker and, occasionally, a conveyor of obscure perspectives. http://pyrosel.blogspot.com

Mvusi Ngubane

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