Types of Mechanical Heart Valves | Dr. Ciuffo

In 1961 the first heart replacement valve was successfully implanted. The original ball-and-cage form is no longer being implanted today, but there are many living patients who had the design implanted. Since the first original mechanical heart valve, over 80 models have been developed to match various patient needs. Of those models, there are three basic types in use today. Bileaflet- A Mechanical Heart Valve   Bileaflet valves are made up of a rigid ring with two hinged semi-circle discs made of bio-neutral, extremely durable materials. The main advantage to this and other types of mechanical heart valves is that it lasts the patient’s lifetime. The valve normally does not wear out or malfunction, reducing the likelihood that the patient will need another operation later to replace a worn-out valve. The con of mechanical valves is that blood tends to clot around the openings, requiring the use of blood thinners for the lifetime of the patient. Luckily the mechanical heart valves have excellent blood flow and few complications. Monoleaflet Like the bileaflet valve, the monoleaflet valve is designed from durable, bio-neutral materials. The monoleaflet valve is composed of a single disc that rotates on a central metal strut. The disc rotates far enough to create openings for the blood to flow through, regulating the pressure and flow. Like the bileaflet valve, monoleaflet implants require the use of blood thinners for the life of the patient, to prevent clots from forming. Bioprosthetic Valve The third option is technically not a mechanical heart valve, but rather is adapted from a human or animal donor. The tissue is carefully prepared and treated...

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery Benefits

Facing heart surgery can be deeply concerning. Any surgery that involves an organ as critical as the heart is risky. Minimally invasive heart surgery benefits include, offering an alternative to traditional surgical techniques which may reduce the risks and the recovery time associated with heart surgery. Not only are the risks associated with traditional procedures reduced, minimally invasive techniques mean that less or no donated blood is necessary, easing religious concerns for many. High Risk Heart Surgery If you’ve been told by your medical team that you are not a good candidate for heart surgery because of your condition, minimally invasive heart surgery may provide an alternative. When you come in for your initial consultation, we’ll take a full medical history and preform a thorough medical examination. Even patients who have been told their condition is inoperable may benefit from minimally invasive procedures that reduce blood loss and trauma. With a small incision and by avoiding the broken bones normally associated with opening the chest cavity, minimally invasive surgery provides a shorter recovery time and an option for patients who may otherwise be considered too medically fragile for traditional surgical options. Bloodless Heart Surgery Benefits Dr. Ciuffo has spent much of his career developing and perfecting bloodless heart surgery techniques. His work has helped move the technique forward. He started investigating bloodless and minimally invasive options to assist Jehovah’s Witness congregations, but soon discovered that the techniques are less traumatic and more effective for all heart patients. Avoiding transfusions provides several heart surgery benefits as well. Preparation, precise surgery, and excellent follow-up care come together to provide our patients...

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair for Babies

Congenital heart problems are challenging for parents and doctors alike. Six babies in every 1,000 are born with atrial septal defects. Fortunately, Dr. Ciuffo’s advanced techniques and technology help reduce the risks of corrective heart surgery in infants. What is Atrial Septal Defect? The human heart is made up of four distinct chambers. Blood enters the chambers and is circulated through the lungs, back out into the body carrying oxygen and other important nutrients. The division between the top two chambers is called the atrial septum. A hole in the septum allows oxygen rich blood entering from the lungs, and oxygen poor blood being sent out to the lungs to mix. This decreases the efficiency with which the heart is able to deliver oxygen rich blood to the body, and sends a higher volume of blood into the lungs. What are the Signs of ASD? A child with ASD may exhibit a number of symptoms. The most well-known symptom is a “whooshing” sound accompanying the heartbeat, sometimes called a “heart murmur.” Other symptoms include poor appetite, failure to grow or thrive, extreme fatigue, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and lung infections. Untreated, ASD can lead to arrhythmia and a higher risk for stroke. The earlier treatment is pursued, the more likely the child will live a full and normal life. ASD Repair in Infants While some smaller ASDs may naturally repair themselves over time, others may require surgical intervention. In cases which require surgery, there are a few options. The catheter method involves inserting a long, flexible tube under general anesthesia through the groin area. The tube is...

High Risk Heart Surgery | Canton, OH

You may have been told that your condition is “inoperable” due to high risks associated with surgery. The words “high risk” are alarming. They carry the implication of a negative outcome from a surgical procedure that might save or improve your quality of life. While every surgery carries risks, it’s always important to weigh them against the potential benefits when considering all the options. Dr. Ciuffo offers options to patients that other surgeons may consider unable to be helped with surgical options. Dr. Ciuffo specialize in high risk heart surgery. If you’ve been told your condition is inoperable or that you’re a “high risk” candidate, contact Dr. Ciuffo for a second opinion. How is Minimally Invasive Bloodless Heart Surgery Different? Traditional heart surgery involves creating a relatively large opening in the chest. It may be necessary to carefully break bones, like ribs and the sternum- to access the heart cavity. With minimally invasive bloodless heart surgery techniques, Dr. Ciuffo employs advanced techniques. A small incision along the ribs provides access to the heart cavity. The patient’s own blood can be circulated, filtered, and re-used throughout the procedure for minimal blood loss. For patients who are concerned about transfusions, this is an excellent option. How Do I Know if It’s Right For Me?  While your doctor may be certain of his or her diagnosis, it’s your health and your right to get a second opinion. If you’ve been told your condition is “inoperable” or that you are a high-risk patient, there are some questions you should ask. First, ask your doctor about the potential outcomes of living without surgery. What...

Heart Surgery Recovery | Canton, OH

You’ve come through the first major milestone of treating your heart issue- you’ve completed your heart surgery. Now it’s time to get on with the important next steps- healing and a full recovery so that you can enjoy the benefits the surgery was intended to create. The First Six to Eight Weeks In the first few weeks, you can expect to need painkillers to help control discomfort while your incision heals. You should be able to bathe or shower within a few days. You’ll need to keep your incision clean and dry until instructed otherwise. Meanwhile, watch for any signs of infection, including excessive draining or oozing, edges of the incision pulling apart, redness or warmth, or a fever higher than 100F. Eight to Ten Weeks During this time you should not stand still for more than 10-15 minutes at a time, lift anything more than 10 pounds, push or pull heavy objects, or engage in strenuous activity. Your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to begin driving again. Be sure to get adequate rest and take care of yourself. You may need to eat smaller meals at first until your body has a chance to recover from the surgery. Recovery Moving Forward As your recovery progresses, you’ll need to ease back into normal activities. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to avoid reopening the incision or putting too much strain on your healing heart. When your doctor allows it, it’s important to begin engaging in an exercise routine. Begin with walking, swimming, and other mildly aerobic exercises. As your appetite returns, so will your enjoyment of your favorite...