A doctor may ask for a complete medical history, perform a few physical examinations and blood tests to ensure good health for the surgery.
The patient will be instructed to avoid consuming any food and fluids for 8 hours before the surgery. Generally, the patient is asked to stop eating or drinking after midnight.
If a woman is pregnant or think she is pregnant, should inform the health expert before the surgery.
A person should inform the doctor if he or she is allergic to anaesthetic agents, medicines, tape, latex, and iodine. Also, a doctor should know the patient’s medicine, drug, supplement, or herbal intake to prevent any possible interactions or side effects.
A patient having a history of a bleeding disorder or using any anticoagulant medicines (blood-thinning drugs), aspirin, or any medicine should inform the surgeon as these drugs may affect blood clotting. The surgeon may instruct to stop certain medicines until surgery or post-surgery recovery.
A few doctors may perform a blood test before surgery to examine the person’s blood clotting procedure and healing.
A patient who smokes should avoid smoking as soon as possible. Health experts believe avoiding cigarette smoking improves the chances for a successful post-surgery. Overall, stopping smoking cigarettes is beneficial for health and well-being.
What Happens During AVR?
General anesthesia is used to perform an aortic valve replacement surgery. General anesthesia makes the patient unconscious throughout the procedure and he/she does not feel pain while the surgeon performs aortic valve replacement.
During the procedure, a surgeon makes a large incision approximately 25 cm long in the middle of the breastbone. This helps the doctor to access the heart properly and perform the surgery.
Next, the tubes are inserted in the heart and major blood vessels which are attached to the heart-lung machine (a bypass machine). This machine acts like the heart throughout the procedure.
The surgeon will inject a drug into the heart which will stop the heart. This also helps the main artery, Aorta, to stop working. This allows the surgeon to operate properly while the heart-lung machine takes care of the patient’s body.
The surgeon will open the aorta and remove the damaged aortic valve and place a new valve with the help of stitches.