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)
- Patient guide: Understanding Your Heart Valve Problem (PDF) | Spanish (PDF)