The pulmonary valve is one of four valves that regulates the flow of blood through the heart and out to the rest of the body. Its flaps (called leaflets) open to push blood from the heart and into the lungs, to receive oxygen. Then they close again to prevent blood from flowing backward into the heart.
Over time the valve can become narrowed (called stenosis), not opening fully to allow blood into the lungs. In other cases, the valve develops small holes or the leaflets may not close fully, which allows blood to seep backward where it doesn’t belong. This is called pulmonary valve regurgitation.
“I had my life saved here.”
Beatrice Sankey was back on her feet the same day her valve was repaired.
Traditional valve repair involves cutting open the breast bone, stopping the heart and placing a patient on a heart lung bypass machine to oxygenate the blood during surgery. Though this approach is life-saving and the best option for some patients, our specialists emphasize advanced, minimally-invasive techniques whenever possible.
These advanced tools allow cardiovascular specialists to use robotics as well as catheter-delivered devices to repair or replace heart valves. By using these tools, surgeons can access the heart by making tiny incisions between the ribs or in the leg, sparing the breastbone and allowing for a swifter recovery.
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