Ozaki surgery is a new alternative to artificial heart valve replacement. Thousands of patients undergo the procedure each year. Compared to the alternatives, Ozaki surgery provides the best short- and long-term results. Read more about the procedure, where to have it, and how much it costs in this article.
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What is Ozaki surgery and how is it performed?
Ozaki surgery is a modern method of surgically treating heart valve defects. It is prescribed when the valve is not working properly and is not passing enough blood through or is “leaking”. This interferes with the circulatory system and, as a consequence, negatively affects the whole body.
The unique feature of the Ozaki surgery is that the new valve is created from the patient’s tissues. This procedure is associated with a lower risk of complications since there is no immune reaction in response to the foreign material. In addition, Ozaki surgery has longer results. The number of patients with the valve working properly after 10-15 years is higher than with other treatment options.
The procedure was developed in 2007 by Hogo University professor Shigeo Ozaki.
There are different techniques for Ozaki surgery. The surgical process depends on the characteristics of the patient’s heart structure. It can be an open or minimally invasive intervention. In open surgery, the doctor makes a long incision in the middle of the chest and pulls the ribs apart with a special tool to gain access to the heart. A minimally invasive surgery requires a smaller incision. It is easier to recover from and leaves a smaller scar.
At the beginning of the Ozaki procedure, the doctor removes the diseased valve cusps. After that, the size of the lumen is measured using special devices. To create a new valve, the surgeon cuts out part of the pericardium, the tissue surrounding the heart. Based on the measurements taken, a new valve is created from it and sewn into the heart.
The procedure takes four to six hours. The very next day, the patient can eat, get out of bed, and walk independently.
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Advantages and disadvantages of Ozaki surgery
Advantages of Ozaki surgery:
The disadvantages of the Ozaki surgery:
In developing countries, few doctors are proficient in the Ozaki method. Many patients choose to go abroad for treatment to gain access to several benefits:
Indications for Ozaki surgery
Ozaki surgery is most often performed on patients with stenosis or regurgitation of the aortic valve. It can also be performed on children with congenital heart valve defects.
One of the main indications for Ozaki surgery is the inability to perform Ross surgery (replacement of the heart valve with an artificial or donor valve). It may also be indicated for patients who have undergone arterial trunk angioplasty and those who have a non-functioning pulmonary valve.
Results and effectiveness of the Ozaki surgery
In 96% of patients, the new valve functions normally for 8 years after surgery. In comparison, with an artificial heart valve, this figure is 80%, and people need to take anticoagulants to avoid blood clots.
The life expectancy of patients after Ozaki surgery is not significantly different from the statistical average. The very first people who underwent Ozaki surgery back in 2007 are still alive today.
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Comparison of the Ozaki operation with alternatives
Ozaki surgery differs from alternative procedures in that the patient’s tissues are used instead of foreign valves. Other treatment options include implantation of an artificial valve or a bioprosthesis made of animal tissue (a cow or a pig). Such surgeries can be performed either openly or with a transcatheter method, i.e. without dissecting the thorax.
|Comparison criteria||Artificial valve||Ozaki surgery||Bioprosthesis|
|Lifespan||up to 20 years||over 15 years||over 15 years|
|Need to take anticoagulants||Yes||No||No|
|Риск образования тромбов||Есть||Низкий||Низкий|
|Risk of blood clots||Low||Low||Present|
|Ability to perform TAVI/TAVR||Yes||No||Yes|
Patients often ask: Can Ozaki surgery be replaced by medication therapy?
Ozaki surgery is indicated in cases where the heart valve is not working as it should. Depending on the stage of the defect, the patient may remain under medical supervision for some time. However, sooner or later, surgery will have to be performed to avoid irreparable consequences. In this case, the doctor may perform a valvuloplasty or heart valve replacement. Ozaki surgery is considered safer than the installation of an artificial valve.
Patient Review of Ozaki Surgery Abroad
Where: Medistate Hospital
Procedure Ozaki surgery
Patient’s age: 10 years
Patient from: Nur-Sultan
Kamalia: “When my son was 10 years old, he was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve and aortic stenosis. The doctor said that sooner or later, the valve had to be replaced. By chance, we learned that instead of an artificial valve transplant, it was possible to use the patient’s tissues and that this method gave a better survival rate and fewer complications. Obviously, such an operation could not be done at home. In our search for a hospital that would take us, we found the MediGlobus website. They advised us to go to Medicana in Turkey. The flight was organised quickly. We were warmly welcomed and our son was operated on 2 days after the arrival. We stayed in the hospital for another 3 days and then they let him go home. Tests show that the valve works properly. My son feels very well. Many thanks to the doctors.”
Treatment package from MediGlobus
Consultation with a cardiac surgeon and anesthesiologist
Surgeon and nursing staff fees
Anesthesia and consumables
Postoperative care and rehabilitation
Assistance with booking flights and accommodation
Organization of accompaniment by a personal interpreter
24/7 online support for any questions
The cost of Ozaki surgery abroad
The price of the Ozaki procedure depends on many factors: the age and health of the patient, the complexity of the surgery, the qualification of the doctor, and the hospital’s pricing policy. Our website provides an approximate price. To get a more exact cost, send your request. Our coordinating doctors will contact you shortly and tell you how much the treatment will cost and in which hospitals it is the most cost-effective.
Ozaki valve replacement is more expensive than conventional TAVI/TAVR surgery. However, it is worth considering since for this money a person gets extra few years of a healthy life without taking medications or needing a second surgery.
Which clinics perform Ozaki surgery?
MediGlobus specialists recommend that Ozaki surgery be performed in hospitals that specialize in cardiac surgery. In this way, a higher quality of treatment can be guaranteed. If an Ozaki procedure is scheduled for a child, you should go to specialized pediatric clinics or hospitals with strong pediatric cardiac surgery departments.
Our patients most often choose: