Heart Valve Replacement

Season 18
Episode 1803

Heart valve replacement is an area in medicine which has made great advancements and is a very common procedure. This procedure is 94-97% effective and can drastically increase the life expectancy of the patient.

The following information is from Heart.org

Valve Replacement

The aortic valve and the mitral valve are the most commonly replaced valves. Pulmonary and tricuspid valve replacements are fairly uncommon in adults.

Replacing a narrowed valve:

The most common surgical procedure for aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve, is aortic valve replacement. Mitral stenosis is another condition that may require valve replacement or repair.

Replacing a leaky valve:

Aortic regurgitation (sometimes referred to as aortic insufficiency) is another common valve problem that may require valve replacement. Regurgitation means that the valve allows blood to return backward through the valve and into the heart instead of moving it forward and out to the body. Aortic regurgitation can eventually lead to heart failure.

Mitral regurgitation may also require a valve replacement. In this condition, the mitral valve allows oxygenated blood to flow backward into the lungs instead of continuing through the heart as it should. People with this condition may experience shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats and chest pain.

Surgical options for valve replacement include:

  • Mechanical valve — a long-lasting valve made of durable materials
  • Tissue valve (which may include human or animal donor tissue)
  • Ross Procedure — “Borrowing” your healthy valve and moving it into the position of the damaged valve aortic valve and replacing the “borrowed” valve with a new valve.
  • TAVI/TAVR procedure — Transcatheter aortic valve implantation/transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • Newer surgery options

The procedure chosen will depend on the valve that needs replacement, the severity of symptoms and the risk of surgery. Some procedures may require long-term medication to guard against blood clots.


American Heart Association
American Heart Association's resources on options for heart valve replacement.
Mayo Clinic
Information from the Mayo Clinic regarding the heart valve replacement procedure.
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Information from Johns Hopkins Medicine regarding heart valve replacement.
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