Your doctor will likely recommend valve
replacement surgery if you have symptoms of
aortic valve stenosis, unless you have other
health problems that make surgery too risky. Most of the time, valve replacement surgery has a high rate of success and a low risk of causing other problems.
Balloon valvuloplasty is a less invasive procedure than surgery. It may be an option for some younger people who have aortic
valve stenosis. This procedure might be done in older adults who cannot have valve replacement surgery. Although the heart valve is not replaced, the narrowed opening
is made larger.
Aortic valve replacement surgery
Aortic valve replacement surgery is either an open-heart surgery or a
minimally invasive surgery. In an aortic valve
replacement surgery, the damaged valve is removed and replaced with an
artificial valve (mechanical or tissue).
slideshow on aortic valve replacement surgery . To learn more about this decision, see:
- Aortic Valve Stenosis: Should I Have Surgery?
If you decide to have surgery, you and your doctor will decide which type of valve is right for you. For help with this decision, see:
- Heart Valve Problems: Should I Choose a Mechanical Valve or Tissue Valve to Replace My Heart Valve?
Bypass surgery with valve replacement surgery
If you are going to have valve replacement surgery, your doctor may suggest that you have a
coronary angiogram/catheterization test. This test can
show if you have blockages in your
coronary arteries (as part of coronary artery
disease). If you have serious blockages, your doctor may want to do a
coronary artery bypass surgery at the same time as the
valve replacement surgery. For more information, see Aortic Valve Stenosis: Treatment with Other Heart Diseases.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a new way to replace an aortic valve. It does not require open-heart surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters in blood vessels to replace the aortic valve with a specially designed artificial valve. The catheters are inserted through small cuts in the groin.
This procedure is available in a small number of hospitals. And it is not right for everyone. It might be done for a person who cannot have surgery to replace his or her valve. For example, it might be an option if you are not healthy enough for an open-heart surgery. Although this procedure is minimally invasive, it has serious risks including stroke, kidney problems, and death.2
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
November 2, 2011