Overview

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.

These valves include the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and aortic valve. Each valve has flaps called leaflets, for the mitral and tricuspid valves, and cusps, for the aortic and pulmonary valves. These flaps open and close once during each heartbeat. Sometimes the valves don't open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body.

In heart valve surgery, your surgeon repairs or replaces the affected heart valves. Many surgical procedures may be used to repair or replace heart valves, including open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery.

Your treatment depends on several factors, including your age, health, the condition of the heart valve that is affected and the severity of your condition.

Mayo Clinic's approach