Heart valve surgery is a procedure to treat heart valve disease. In heart valve disease, at least one of the four heart valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction through your heart doesn't function properly. In heart valve surgery, your surgeon repairs or replaces the affected heart valves.

Heart valve diseases that may be treated by heart valve surgery include:

Heart valve surgery can result in:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Prolonged life
  • Reduced symptoms
  • Preservation of the function of your heart muscle

While all open-heart surgeries involve some risk, major complications are rare because of improved technology and surgical techniques. Most heart valve repair and replacement surgeries are successful in restoring the function of your heart with a low rate of complications.

Complications could include:

  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Stroke
  • Surgery needed for a new valve, in some instances, if the heart valve fails over time
Mar. 21, 2014