If the heart valves have been damaged or diseased, they may fail to open and close correctly. This places extra strain on the heart muscle.
- Heart valve repair: To repair a damaged valve, a surgeon can reshape or remove parts of the valve to make it function better. For example, to treat valve insufficiency (when the valve fails to close tightly), the surgeon may remove extra tissue or strengthen parts of the valve by sewing a ring around the opening of the valve.
- Heart valve replacement: If the heart valve can't be repaired, it can be replaced with a mechanical or biological valve.
- Ross procedure (pulmonary valve translocation): This procedure is a valve replacement option for people with damaged aortic valves. The damaged aortic valve is replaced with the patient's own pulmonary valve. To fulfill the function of the pulmonary valve, the surgeon inserts a human donor valve in the pulmonary position.