Aortic Valve Surgery — Repair and Replacement

The aortic valve is one of four valves that keep blood flowing through the heart. It uses flaps to open, allowing blood to move forward, and then closes to stop blood from flowing backward (regurgitation). When the aortic valve doesn’t work correctly, it can disrupt proper blood flow through the body and cause stress for the heart.

For the aortic valve to open and close correctly, the valve flaps are reconnected and any excess valve tissue is removed. If the aortic valve is severely diseased or damaged, surgeons will need to replace the valve. Life threatening valve diseases can also be treated with valve replacement.

Our expert cardiovascular team takes a personalized approach to care. Through comprehensive evaluations, we determine the most effective treatment to help regulate blood flow, maintain heart muscle function and, most importantly, help patients live longer.

Trans-sternal Aortic Valve Repair or Replacement

A trans-sternal, or open, aortic valve surgery uses a traditional, larger chest incision to repair the valve. This procedure is called “open” because it exposes the heart and chest more than minimally invasive aortic valve surgeries. Open aortic valve repair and replacement is a more invasive surgery with higher risk and a longer recovery time than is typically experienced with minimally invasive options.

Types of repair include:

  • Ring annuloplasty. The ring-like part of the valve is tightened by placing a flexible ring around the damaged valve.
  • Valve repair. The damaged flaps of the valve or muscles near the valve are surgically repaired.

If damage to the aortic valve is so severe it cannot be repaired, our surgical team will replace the defective valve with an artificial one.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Repair or Replacement

For patients that qualify, minimally invasive aortic valve repair is preferred over open surgery. A minimally invasive surgery uses smaller incisions than the open repair method. Some techniques include using small holes and cameras to robotically perform the aortic valve repair or replacement. Since this procedure is much less invasive, patients experience an easier and faster recovery.