Valve Repair and Replacement
Heart valve surgery is used to repair or replace diseased heart
valves. There are four valves in the heart: the aortic valve,
mitral valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve.
The valves control the direction of blood flow through the heart.
The opening and closing of the heart valves produce the sound of
Heart valve surgery is open-heart surgery done under general
anesthesia. A cut is made through the breastbone. Blood is routed
away from the heart to a heart-lung bypass machine, which keeps
the blood circulating during the operation.
Valves may be repaired or replaced. Replacement heart valves are
either natural (biologic) or artificial (mechanical). Artificial
valves may require recipients to take lifelong medication to
prevent blood clots. Natural valves rarely require lifelong
Heart valve surgery may be recommended for narrowing of the heart
valve, called stenosis; or leaking of the heart valve, called
Valve problems may be caused by birth defects, calcium deposits,
infections or medications. Defective valves may cause congestive
heart failure and infections.
Learn more about Valve Replacement Surgery
Risks associated with the procedure may include:
- Breathing problems
- Reactions to medications
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Kidney failure
- Temporary confusion after surgery when a heart-lung machine
The success rate of heart valve surgery is high. The operation
can relieve symptoms and prolong life. The death rate averages 2
to 5 percent, depending on the heart valve. About two-thirds of
the patients who receive an artificial mitral valve are still
alive nine years after the surgery.
Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart
and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While
various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of
our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology
highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and
vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.