Understanding Different Heart Valve Repair Options
Depending on the type of heart valve disease you have and its severity, your doctor may find that repairing your heart valve is the best treatment for you.
Common heart valve repair techniques
Your doctor may use one of the following common techniques to repair your heart valve:
- Valvuloplasty: A technique aimed at ensuring that the leaflets of the heart valve close properly, preventing blood from backing up into the atrium.
- Commissurotomy: A type of valvuloplasty used when a valve’s leaflets become stiff and actually fuse together at the valve’s base, or ring portion (annulus).
- Annuloplasty: A technique aimed at repairing fibrous tissue at a heart valve’s base, or annulus. Sometimes the annulus becomes enlarged or dilated, allowing blood to back up into the left atrium. Annuloplasty involves a surgeon placing sutures around the ring to make the opening smaller, creating a purse-string effect around the base of the valve. The repair usually requires the implantation of a ring to support the annulus.
Minimally invasive techniques
In some cases, surgeons can perform heart valve repair with less invasive techniques than the conventional open-chest procedure. If you require multiple cardiac procedures, minimally invasive heart valve surgery may not be an option for you. Your doctor and care team will be able to tell you if minimally invasive techniques are your best course of treatment.