Aortic valve surgery may be recommended when the aortic valve, one of the valves that controls the flow of blood through the heart, has become damaged or diseased. Aortic valve surgery can address stenosis, where the valve does not completely open, as well as regurgitation, where the valve does not completely close. Valve surgery may also be used to fix an aortic valve that has formed abnormally as a birth defect or that has been damaged due to coronary artery disease.
Aortic valve surgery may involve repair or replacement of the valve. Aortic valve repair involves surgically reconstructing the leaflets, chordae and/or papillary muscles of the valve. Ring annuloplasty is another valve repair procedure in which the annulus, a ring-like part the valve, is tightened by wrapping a ring of cloth, metal, or tissue around the valve. Aortic valve replacement substitutes an artificial valve for the diseased tissue. The replacement valve may be a biologic valve, which uses heart valves and tissue from taken from animals or from human donors, or a mechanical valve made of metal, carbon or synthetics.
Patients considering aortic valve surgery in the New England area will find world-class care and technology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
State-of-the-art aortic valve surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital
For patients requiring aortic valve surgery, the Carl J and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital offers the most advanced treatment with compassionate care in a state-of-the art facility. Our cardiovascular specialists provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for patients with complex diseases of the heart, blood vessels, and circulatory system. The Center's cardiac valve surgery program is one of the largest in the country, providing expert treatment for more than 800 patients every year. Surgeons perform all types of valve surgery, including heart valve repairand heart valve replacement surgery. Brigham and Women's Hospital is a world leader in valve repair for ischemic, rheumatic and myxomatous conditions of the mitral valve.
The structural heart disease program at Brigham and Women's Hospital has pioneered new approaches to aortic valve surgery. These include many ground-breaking minimally invasive techniques, such as procedures that access the aortic valve using a catheter threaded through an artery or through the tip of a ventricle, and an innovative "valve-in-valve" procedure that replaces a patient's worn-out prosthetic aortic valve with a new valve without the need to remove the old one. All of these procedures are designed for patients who are considered high-risk for conventional surgery, avoiding open heart surgery and reducing the surgical recovery period.