Aortic valve repair is a surgical procedure to repair the aortic valve, one of the valves in the heart that controls the flow of blood. Aortic valve repair may be recommended when the valve has been abnormally formed as birth defect or when it has been damaged by conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, infection or degeneration.
Aortic valve repair may be required for stenosis (when the aortic valve does not fully open, forcing blood through a narrower opening) or regurgitation (when the aortic valve will not fully close and blood is able to flow backward through opening.) Aortic valve surgery may address these conditions through two common procedures:
Valve repair in which the leaflets, chordate and/or papillary muscles of the aortic valve are reconstructed.
Ring annuloplasty in which the valve is tightened by tying a ring of metal, tissue or cloth around the annulus, a ring-like part of the valve.
Minimally invasive surgery for aortic valve repair may be an option for patients without coronary disease. Minimally invasive valve surgery uses very small incisions and results in less pain and blood loss and a shorter hospital stay.
Patients seeking a surgical team that can offer the most advanced forms of aortic valve repair, including minimally invasive techniques, can turn to the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
World-class techniques and technology for aortic valve repair
Surgeons at the Center's cardiac valve surgery program treat more than 800 patients each year, making it one of the largest programs in the U.S. Patients are treated by a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and surgeons who are experts in heart valve repair and heart valve replacement procedures.Brigham and Women's Hospital has been providing innovative and comprehensive care to patients with disorders of the heart, blood vessels and circulation for nearly a century. Today, the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital is the most advanced facility of its kind in the New England area, providing state-of-the-art treatment for a wide variety of heart conditions, including aortic valve repair and other cardiovascular surgeries.
Alternatives to repair and other treatments for aortic valve disease
There are several other surgical treatments for patients with aortic valve trouble in addition to aortic valve repair. Aortic valve replacement involves surgery to replace the diseased valve with a mechanical, bioprosthetic or biologic valve. Patients with severe stenosis in the aortic valve may be eligible for percutaneous aortic valve replacement, a catheter-based procedure that installs a synthetic valve through a catheter inserted in the femoral artery in the upper leg, sparing the patient from open heart surgery and significantly reducing recovery time.