Aortic Valve Replacement

In this procedure, surgeons replace a damaged aortic valve with an artificial one, either from man-made materials or one made from animal tissue, often from a pig. The valve damage may result from a birth defect to the flaps that allows for regurgitation (the back flow of blood) or with age as the valve narrows due to calcium buildup. Surgery, either through an open-chest or minimally invasive procedure, depending on the patient, is necessary to prevent damage to the heart chambers and to keep an adequate blood flow to the body.