Beaumont Hospital - Cardiac Valve Surgery
Valve repair is performed when patients are experiencing valve stenosis (difficulty in valve opening) or valve insufficiency (valve not closing completely and leaking), which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body. Valve repair surgery is performed whenever it is possible to save the patient's own valve. During surgery, the patient's chest is opened up and they are attached to the heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass). This machine pumps blood to the rest of the body while the heart is stopped and the valve is being repaired. During the repair itself, the surgeon reconstructs the patient's existing valve so that it opens and closes properly and functions like a healthy valve.
Valve Repairs vs. Valve Replacements
Valve replacement surgery is performed when patients are experiencing valve stenosis (difficulty in valve opening) or valve insufficiency (valve not closing completely and leaking) and their own valve cannot be repaired. Replacement valves can either be mechanical or tissue. The surgeon and the patient will discuss the various options for valve replacements and they will together decide which type is best for the patient. Once the replacement is performed, the replacement valve will function like a healthy valve.