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Each time the heart muscle contracts, blood flows in one direction to the body through four valves. When a heart valve is damaged or diseased, it does not open and close properly and blood could leak out or flow in the wrong direction. This causes the heart to work inefficiently and surgery to repair or replace the heart valve is necessary.
You Have Options
Some heart valve structures can be repaired through open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure. Other times, a new valve is used to replace the old one. New heart valves can be mechanical (made of metal and plastic) or biological (made of human or animal tissue). Our Structural Heart team includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and electrophysiologists that work together to determine which option is right for you. An appointment with a cardiovascular surgeon requires a referral from your cardiologist or primary care provider.How it works:
- You will be placed under anesthesia, connected to a heart-lung machine and your doctor will make a chest incision.
- Your doctor will make an incision to remove the damaged valve.
- Your doctor will stich the new valve into place and ensure that it opens and closes properly.
- Your strong, new valve take over the work of pumping blood when as the chest is closed.
- Your Heart Team will closely monitor your recovery and create a custom plan for rehabilitation.