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What are the risks involved in valve replacement?

Q: I had gone for my first angiography last week. The doctor did the ballooning process to my mitral valve. Before the process, my valve was 0.7 and after process it increased to 1.1. The doctor suggested that I go for valve replacement. But my valve is thick and calcified and there is 0.1% leakage, too. Do I need to go for valve replacement? Where can I get it done in India? Is there any danger to my life? I am very depressed for the past one week.

A:It's not uncommon to have a failed balloon valvotomy procedure, because the valve may be either too thick or to heavily calcified or so elastic that it won't open properly. So it's not that something unusual has happened with you. Moreover, valve replacement has become a common procedure and the risks involved are now much less as compared to what they were say 10 years back. I do not think, you need any one very special for a valve replacement. Any cardiac surgeon should be able to do a good job. Lastly, I want to reassure you that you need not get depressed for this problem because it is now an easily tackled problem, and in any case, your going into depression would not alter things and if at all, make things worse. So, please do cheer up because after valve replacement, you can do any and every activity in life including competitive sports, mountain climbing, so on and so forth. In fact following valve replacement, people have competed at Olympics level!

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