Surgical Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

Heart valve disease involves two main types of malfunctions: stenosis (narrowing of the heart valve) and regurgitation (leakage of the heart valve). More than five million Americans are diagnosed with a heart valve disease each year.

The heart has four valves: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves. These valves have tissue flaps that open and close with each heartbeat. The flaps make sure blood flows in the right direction through your heart's four chambers and to the rest of your body. Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of these valves do not function properly.

Cardiac surgeons specializing in the surgical repair and replacement of heart valves at the  Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) Heart & Vascular Center have deep expertise in diagnosing and treating all cardiac valve syndromes and disorders, including mitral valve prolapse and aortic valve regurgitation.

As a pioneer in heart valve surgery, we have performed more than 10,000 valve replacement surgeries. We use both traditional open chest and minimally invasive procedures and our outcomes consistently exceed regional and national averages.

Continuous innovation is the hallmark of the care and treatment for advanced heart valve disease patients at BWH. Our therapeutic breakthroughs include:

  • Performing the first world’s first successful heart valve surgery in 1923.
  • Devising the Gorlin Formula in 1951 to Quantify Valvular Stenosis.
  • Using the first porcine valve in New England in 1972.
  • Being among the first in the nation in the 1990s performing and refining minimally invasive value surgery techniques.
  • Performing percutaneous (minimally invasive) mitral valve repair to treat mitral regurgitation (MR).
  • Being one of the few New England centers with experts who perform the MitraClip procedure.
Read this patient story about aortic valve replacement without general anesthesia.

Learn more about how heart valve disease is treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH)

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment with a surgical specialist in the treatment of heart valve disease call (617) 732-7678.

Refer a Patient

Physicians can make a referral to a surgical specialist in the treatment of heart valve disease by calling (617) 732-7678.

Watch this video case study of a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive surgical treatment.

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