Dr. John Ikonomidis, a cardiac surgeon with MUSC, explains what is involved with an aortic valve replacement, which is an open-heart operation.
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Aortic Valve Replacement: Dr. John Ikonomidis: It's an open heart operation. It's going to require that the patient have his or her chest opened, be placed on bypass and that the heart needs to be stop for a period of time to allow opening of the aorta to access the aortic valve. Aortic valve is removed the area around where the valve was, is carefully cleaned so that there is no particular matter in here that could break off and go to the brain or the other places and cause strokes other bad things. The orifice that's remained is sized and then appropriately sized, replacement valve is selected and sewn into the area, the aorta is then closed over top of the heart and the aorta are de-aired, the heart is allowed to recover to the point where the patients unweaned from bypass. The bypass tubing and so forth are all removed and bleeding is stopped and the patient is closed and that's essentially the deportment of the operation.