Over the past few years, great advances have been made in the surgical treatment of diseased heart valves. The diagnostic tests available at the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute help to identify the location, type and extent of valve disease. The results of these tests, the structure of the heart, and the patient’s age and lifestyle will help determine the best possible procedure
Types of Surgeries
Depending on a patient’s individual circumstances, heart-valve disease can be treated in a variety of ways – including heart-valve surgery. If surgery is indicated, a surgeon may decide to repair the valve. Or, the heart valve may need to be replaced instead of repaired. There are a number of different types of valve surgery, including surgery of the aortic valve, the mitral valve and the tricuspid valve.
Many diseases and conditions can cause the aorta to enlarge or tear and thereby increase the risk for life-threatening events. Such conditions range from atherosclerosis (thickening and hardening of the arterial walls) and high blood pressure to genetic conditions such as Marfan’s syndrome.
Advances in minimally invasive heart valve surgery are providing a wide range of benefits to Swedish patients, including faster recovery times and scarring that is much less visible.
Mitral valve repair is an optional surgical procedure of choice for patients with a leaky valve (mitral regurgitation). When the leak is caused by a degenerative valve disease such as mitral valve prolapse, the valve can be repaired – rather than replaced.
Tricuspid valve disease may be tolerated for a long time without any symptoms – but when the disease is severe, it may be necessary to repair or replace the valve.