Understanding Your Heart Valve Treatment Options
Recovery statistics are very good for people who receive proper treatment.
Some people live long and full lives with mild valvular problems and never need surgery. But once a heart valve begins to affect the heart’s ability to pump blood, it's likely to require a repair or replacement.
Treatment for valve disease will include a plan to:
- Protect your heart from further damage.
- Assess your need for medication to help manage symptoms.
- Repair the valve problem if needed.
- Communicate steps for management, self-care and the importance of follow-up care.
Generally, once it's determined that a diseased heart valve needs treatment, the available choices are valve repair or replacement:
- Valve repair — preserves the patient’s valve and leaflets. Sometimes repairs require a minor surgical procedure and other times repairs need a more extensive surgery. Repair is most often possible for mitral valve regurgitation and tricuspid valve regurgitation.
- Valve replacement — may include open heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure such as TAVR (or TAVI).
- Prepare for your telehealth visit: Telehealth Tips for Heart Valve Patients (PDF)
- Print our handy pre-surgery checklist: Facing and Recovering from Major Surgery (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)
- Aortic Stenosis Discussion Guide: Get the most out of your appointment (PDF)
- Aortic Stenosis: Considerations for Replacing Your Aortic Valve (PDF)
- Patient guide: Understanding Your Heart Valve Problem (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)