Patients can undergo aortic valve surgery at medical centers such as Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas; Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio; and Stanford Medicine in Stanford, California. These centers perform a minimally invasive surgical procedure, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, on certain high-risk aortic stenosis patients, according to their websites.
Patients who are obese; have severely damaged valves or clogged arteries; or need surgery on multiple valves cannot undergo minimally invasive valve surgery, explains Texas Heart Institute. Cardiovascular surgeons repair valves using traditional methods, such as commissurotomy to open narrowed valves; valvuloplasty to ensure the valve leaflets close tightly; and patching to cover leaflet holes or tears. Valve replacement techniques use biological valves from animal or human tissue, or mechanical valves made with long-lasting substances, such as metal and plastic.