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Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Aortic valve replacement surgery
Aortic valve replacement surgery may be done as an open-heart surgery or as a less invasive surgery. In open-heart surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the middle of the chest and cuts through the breastbone (sternum). In less invasive surgery, the surgeon makes smaller incisions and does not open the chest.
In a less invasive surgery, the surgeon may make an incision between the ribs. The surgeon uses this incision to work on the heart. The surgeon does not cut the sternum.
In an open-heart surgery, the surgeon opens the chest with a retractor to expose the heart. The surgeon opens the lining that protects the heart (pericardium).
Next, the surgeon removes the damaged aortic valve.
Finally, the surgeon inserts the artificial valve into the aorta. The artificial valve (also called a prosthetic valve) may be either mechanical or made of animal tissue. The surgeon sews the valve to the annulus, which is a ring of tissue that connects to the leaflets of the aortic valve.
Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffRakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologyAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineDavid C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic SurgeryMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineCaroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of:
April 9, 2019
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & David C. Stuesse MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine
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