Heart Valve Diseases

What is heart valve disease?

The four valves of your heart are the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valves. Each valve has a function related to pumping blood to the heart, lungs and other parts of the body. If you have heart valve disease, the valves of your heart don't open and close correctly and can't control blood flow and direction. This can lead to blood leaking back into the heart chambers, making the heart work harder and eventually leading to heart failure.

Who is at risk of heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease may be congenital (something you're born with) or it may be acquired, something that develops over time or later in life. Certain people are at higher risk for developing heart valve disease, such as those who have:

Symptoms of heart valve disease

Symptoms may include dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, or swelling in the ankles (edema).

If you have these kinds of symptoms or have concerns about heart valve disease, be sure to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and review of your medical history, and may recommend additional tests such as an echocardiogram (echo) or an angiogram.


If you are diagnosed with heart valve disease, your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Treatment often consists of a combination of diet and lifestyle changes along with medication, and in some cases, surgery.

Aortic Valve Repair

A technique that allows cardiovascular surgeons to repair the aortic valve and replace the enlarged ascending aorta from the sinotubular jugular to the arch is called the David procedure and is routinely performed at Lankenau Heart Institute. Learn more about aortic valve repair.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Repair

Treatment for atrial septal defect (ASD) will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. The most common type of ASD may close on its own as your child grows.

Heart Valve Repair or Replacement

Heart valve replacement depends on how damaged the valve is. There are four types of heart valves: aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid. Aortic valves and mitral valves are the ones most commonly repaired or replaced.

Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR)

For more than 50 years, surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) has been the standard treatment for severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and for aortic regurgitation.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

This groundbreaking procedure for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis is now being offered at Lankenau. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, TAVR, is a procedure that allows the diseased aortic valve to be replaced without open heart surgery.

Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (MitraClip)

MitraClip, a type of transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR), is a less invasive treatment option to address mitral regurgitation (MR) often due to mitral valve prolapse (MVP).


Also known as PTBV (percutaneous transluminal balloon valvuloplasty), valvuloplasty is a procedure to treat narrowed mitral valves or narrowed aortic valves.


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