Heart valve surgery is done to replace or repair heart valves that aren’t working correctly. Most valve replacements involve the aortic and mitral valves. The aortic valve separates the left ventricle (your heart’s main pumping chamber) and the aorta (the major artery that carries blood to your body). The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricle.
The four valves in your heart make sure that blood flows through your heart in the right direction. If a valve becomes diseased or damaged, it may need to be replaced with an artificial one like the mechanical valve.
Heart valve problems make the heart work too hard. This can lead to heart failure. In some cases, valves:
Prolapse – mitral valve flaps don’t close properly (more common in women). As pressure builds inside the left ventricle, it pushes the mitral valve flap back into the left atrium, which may cause a small leak.
With some heart valve problems, the best treatment is surgery. Your doctor will tell you more, but here are some things you can expect: