Inside the heart are four valves—pulmonary, tricuspid, aortic and mitral. When healthy and working properly, these valves keep the blood flowing in the right direction.
They can lose function due to a variety of causes, called heart valve disease. Heart valves may not open completely (stenosis) or may not close completely (regurgitation). Surgical intervention is often the preferred course of treatment for heart valve disease.
Heart valve repair
The mitral valve is the most commonly repaired heart valve, but all four of the valves may be repaired depending upon the nature and severity of heart valve disease present.
The most common heart valve repair techniques are:
Repair of a narrowed mitral valve that removes calcium deposits and scarring.
Calcium deposits are surgically removed to allow the valve to function properly.
Poorly functioning sections of a valve leaflet are removed.
Heart valve replacement
Depending on the nature and severity of your heart valve disease, your physician may include valve replacement surgery in your treatment plan. In fact, we typically treat disease of the aortic valve and the pulmonic valve with valve replacement rather than repair. Replacements can be mechanical, biological, or allograft valves.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
A minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery we commonly perform. We deliver a new aortic valve to the site of implantation via a catheter. TAVR usually results in a shorter recovery time than open-heart surgery, and can be particularly beneficial for patients who are too ill to undergo open-heart valve replacement surgery.
Learn more about TAVR.