AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT IN INDIA – AN INTRODUCTION AND THE COST INVOLVED

An open-heart surgery procedure where the damaged aortic valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve is called Aortic valve replacement. The aortic valve is one of the four valves that regulate the blood flow in the heart. The aortic valve’s function involves separating the main pumping chamber or the left ventricle of the heart and the main artery or the aorta, which supplies oxygen-rich blood to our body. 

Even though it is a complex surgery, this procedure has saved many lives. Read on to know more about the surgery and the aortic valve replacement cost in India

AORTIC VALVE DISEASES

Each type of Aortic Valve Disease requires a different approach to treatment. The types of aortic valve diseases are 

  • Aortic valve regurgitation 

Blood flows in a single direction in a normal heart, from the ventricle to the aorta. However, in a compromised aortic valve, the blood flow happens in the reverse direction, i.e., from the aorta to the left ventricle. This condition is known as Aortic valve regurgitation. This block flow may be due to a leaky valve caused by abnormal valve shape by birth or certain bacterial infections.

  • Aortic valve Stenosis

In this condition, the Aortic valve is narrow and has obstructions. The flow of blood into the aorta becomes difficult. The reasons for it include thickening of valve flaps or post-inflammatory changes

  • Congenital Heart Disease 

This disease includes all the dysfunctions of the aortic valve present from birth. Apart from the above two mentioned, congenital heart disease could also be due to the absence of an aortic valve from birth.

REPAIR vs. REPLACEMENT

A compromised aortic valve can either be repaired or replaced. It depends on numerous factors including,

  1. The severity of the disease
  2. Age of the patient
  3. The general health of the patient
  4. A pressing need for another heart surgery like a bypass. Both the surgeries can be performed simultaneously. 

As a thumb rule, heart valve repair is always the first choice, but most cannot be repaired. 

SYMPTOMS OF AORTIC VALVE DISEASE

The most common symptoms of an Aortic Valve Disease include,

  •  Difficulty in breathing
  •  Fainting
  •  Chest Pain
  •  Tiredness
  •  Swollen ankles
  •  Swollen Feet
  •  Abnormal Heartbeat

RISK INVOLVED IN REPLACEMENT OF AORTIC VALVE

Though a complex surgery, failure to do it will result in higher risk in the patient. The risk of an aortic valve replacement is higher in the elderly than in youngsters. A few of the risks to bear in mind are-

  • Likelihood of blood clots
  • Lung infection leading to shortness of breath
  • Heart Attack
  • Kidney problems 
  • Infections in the new replaced valve

DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT

The diagnostic tests include: 

  • Echocardiography 
  • Transesophageal Echo for better picture
  • ECG to help detect the abnormal heartbeat
  • Chest X-Ray to ensure that there is no swelling in heart or lung fluid
  • Cardiac MRI to ascertain the seriousness of the condition. 

SURGERY TYPES – AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT

If the doctor decides that the patient needs an aortic valve replacement, the procedure can be performed in one of these ways 

1. Open Surgery

Open-heart surgery to replace the damaged aortic valve.  

2. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)

In this type, an incision is made on the chest. As a result, there is minimal blood loss, and the chance of infection is less. It is recommended if the patient is weak and cannot opt for open surgery. 

3. Aortic valve balloon valvuloplasty

This procedure is for patients not eligible for open-heart surgery due to their conditions. This balloon valvuloplasty is performed on children and is a short-term treatment till they are old enough to undergo an open-heart aortic valve replacement. 

4. Sutureless aortic valve replacement

Like open-heart surgery, the suture-less procedure involves no stitches to secure the replaced valve in place. The main risk of this procedure is blood leakage or a clot formation near the valve.

AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT COST

In general, the aortic valve replacement cost in India is Rs 3,64,000 (approximately). For further insight, we have provided city-wise average cost. 

S.No CITY APPROX AVERAGE COST (Rs in Lakh)
1 Chennai 3.25
2 Bengaluru 3.25
3 Hyderabad 3
4 Kolkata 2.69
5 Mumbai 3.62
6 Jaipur 2.42
7 New Delhi  2.88
8 Pune 3.46

 

FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST

Though the cost of the procedure may not vary, certain factors affect the cost of aortic valve replacement in India.

  • Grade of Hospital or Clinic
  • The facilities asked for – bed, the number of night stays, etc.
  • Cost of prescribed medicines
  • Cost of the valve chosen
  • Cost of the follow-up procedures

TO CONCLUDE

After an aortic valve replacement, the individual can eventually get back to a normal life. Period checkups are a must. You might be prescribed long-term medications to add to the value of India’s aortic valve replacement cost. The individual must follow the Doctor’s advice and lead a healthy lifestyle post-surgery to avoid any further complications.

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