Dr. Aklog explains if heart valve surgery is safe.
For the vast majority of patients with heart valve disease, it really is extremely safe. There have been major improvements in heart valve surgery that’s made it safe for most patients. The key thing to remember there is that in any patient with heart valve disease, there’s always an optimal window of time to fix the valve, and if we catch the problem and follow the patient so that we can operate within that optimal window of time, then the surgery can be done extremely safely with very, very low risk to the patient.
But it’s important to know that if we miss that opportunity and the surgery is delayed beyond that optimal window, then heart damage can occur and the patient can, then the risk of surgery can increase dramatically. So yes, most patients undergo heart valve surgery very safely, but the caveat is that’s as long as followed carefully enough to allow the surgery to occur within that optimal window before damage occurs.
About Dr. Aklog, M.D.:
Dr. Lishan Aklog is the current Director and Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Heart and Lung Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona and Director of EmpowHer's Medical Advisory Board. Specializing in adult cardiac care, he graduated from Harvard College followed by Harvard Medical School. Dr. Aklog was a cardiothoracic resident at Brigham and Women’s/Boston Children’s Hospital, an Associate Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and completed international fellowships in London, England and Paris, France.
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