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Heart valve surgery - series—Indications

Indications

Overview

Heart valve replacement may be recommended for:

  • narrowing of the heart valve (stenosis)
  • leaking of the heart valve

Valve problems may be caused by infections (rheumatic fever) or birth defects and may cause heart failure (congestive heart failure) and infections (infective endocarditis).

The surgery is done while the patient is deep-asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia). An incision is made through the breast bone (sternum).

Review Date 5/15/2018

Updated by: Mary C. Mancini, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christus Highland Medical Center, Shreveport, LA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.