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Heart valve replacement may be recommended for:
- narrowing of the heart valve (stenosis)
- leaking of the heart valve
Valve problems may be caused by infections (rheumatic fever) or birth defects and may cause heart failure (congestive heart failure) and infections (infective endocarditis).
The surgery is done while the patient is deep-asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia). An incision is made through the breast bone (sternum).
Update Date 4/13/2015
Updated by: Dale Mueller, MD, Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgeon, HeartCare Midwest; Chairman Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Surgery, OSF St. Francis Medical Center; and Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Illinois, Peoria, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.