Cardiac Surgery

Heart Valve Repair and Replacement

The CVC is recognized nationally for offering complex surgery to correct Valvular Heart Disease.


  • Innovative treatments for valve stenosis or insufficiency
  • Repair of patient's own valve
  • Replacement with mechanical or biological valve
  • Expertise in minimally invasive techniques
  • Replacement with allograft (homograft) valve, including Ross procedure
  • Transmyocardial revascularization
  • Maze procedure


Information for patients


Call (617) 638-7350 for more information
or to schedule an appointment

Valvular Heart Disease

The heart has four valves that control the flow of blood within the heart; valve disease results when one or more of the valves does not work properly. Problems arise when a valve becomes narrowed, restricting blood flow through it (stenosis), or when it leaks (insufficiency), allowing blood to flow backward through the heart.

Although repairing a damaged valve is the preferred method of correcting valvular heart disease, sometimes an artificial valve — mechanical, tissue or human — is used to replace a diseased valve. A mechanical valve is made from metal and is very durable, but necessitates lifelong use of "blood-thinning" drugs (anticoagulants). Tissue valves can be made from pig or cow tissue, whereas human valves come from a heart donor. Tissue valves offer the advantage that blood-thinning drugs are required for only a short time. In 1991, the CVC was one of the first centers in New England to perform a human cryopreserved heart valve replacement.

When replacing aortic or mitral valves, our surgeons routinely employ minimally invasive techniques, thereby reducing post-operative discomfort and recovery time, as well as offering enhanced cosmetic results. Surgery, particularly for mitral valve replacements and repairs, is done via small incisions or ports, using a technique known as port access.



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