Damaged or diseased heart valves may fail to open and close as they should, placing unnecessary strain on the heart muscle.
- Heart valve repair: A surgeon can remove or reshape parts of the valve in order to have it function better. For example, if the valve fails to close tightly, the surgeon may remove extra tissue to strengthen parts of the valve by sewing a ring around the valve opening.
- Heart valve replacement: If the heart valve is irreparable, it can be replaced with a biological or mechanical valve.
- Ross procedure (pulmonary valve translocation): This is a valve replacement option for those with damaged aortic valve. The patient’s own pulmonary valve replaces the aortic valve, and the surgeon inserts a human donor valve to replace the pulmonary valve.