Options for Heart Valve Replacement

Illustration of Valves of the Heart

Valve Replacement

The aortic valve is the most commonly replaced valve. Pulmonary and tricuspid valve replacements are fairly uncommon in adults.

Replacing a narrowed valve:

The most common surgical procedure for aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve, is aortic valve replacement. Mitral stenosis is another condition that may require valve replacement or repair.

Replacing a leaky valve:

Aortic regurgitation, sometimes referred to as aortic insufficiency, is another common valve problem that may require valve replacement. Regurgitation means that the valve allows blood to return backward through the valve and into the heart instead of moving it forward and out to the body. Aortic regurgitation can eventually lead to heart failure.

Mitral regurgitation may also require a valve replacement. In this condition, the mitral valve allows oxygenated blood to flow backward into the lungs instead of continuing through the heart as it should. People with this condition may experience shortness of breath, fatigue and irregular heartbeats.

Surgical options for valve replacement include:

The procedure chosen will depend on the valve that needs replacement, the severity of symptoms and the risk of surgery. Some procedures may require long-term medication to guard against blood clots.

Options for aortic stenosis treatment chart 

*Age is not the only factor in making a decision on treatment. It is critical to talk to your care team to weigh the risks and benefits of each approach and take into account your values and preferences.

Download Aortic Stenosis: Considerations for Replacing Your Aortic Valve (PDF)

Pre-surgery Checklist English (PDF) | Pre-surgery Checklist Spanish (PDF) 
Recovery Milestones Checklist English (PDF) | Recovery Milestones Checklist Spanish (PDF) 

Video: Treatment Options for Heart Valve Replacement
Your Heart Surgery: Realization and Repair