Any number of different procedures can be used to repair defects or malfunctions any of the heart’s four valves. Repair can treat stenosis, a condition in which the small flaps of a valve do not open wide enough to allow enough blood to flow through. Insufficiency or incompetence means that the valve does not close properly and blood can flow backward in the heart. Heart valve replacement surgery, also known as artificial heart value surgery, replaces a damaged or defective valve in the heart with a healthy one (either a mechanical valve made from plastic, carbon, or metal or a tissue valve taken from a pig or a human donor).
Last updated on 31 May 2011