What is Heart Valve Surgery? 

Heart Valve Surgery is an operation to fix a damaged or faulty heart valve. This is required when the valve is hardened or calcified (in which it prevents the blood from moving forward) or too loose (in which the blood tends to flow backwards).


To Repair or Replace? 

Valve Repair Surgery

When possible, it is often preferable to surgically repair your heart valve rather than to replace it with a prosthetic device. Valve repair surgery usually involves the surgeon modifying the tissue or underlying structures your valve and implanting an annuloplasty ring or band.

Valve Replacement Surgery

 If the diseased native heart valve cannot be repaired, the surgeon may choose to replace it. The first step is to remove the diseased valve and then implant a prosthetic valve in its place.

There are two main types of prosthetic heart valves:

Tissue (bioprosthetic) valves

Created from animal donors’ valves that is strong and flexible. Tissue valves can last 10-20 years, and usually do not require the long-term use of blood thinning medication.

Mechanical valves

Made of strong and durable materials,  the mechanical valves will last throughout the remainder of the patients’ lifetime. Blood thinning medication would be required for the remainder of the patient’s life to prevent blood clots from forming on the synthetic materials.

Often times, Heart Valve Surgery may be combined with other procedures (such as more than one valve procedure or bypass surgery) to fully treat the heart disease.


Less Invasive Heart Valve Surgery

A less invasive heart valve operation is performed through smaller incision using specialised surgical instruments. The incision is normally around 2 to 4 inches as compared to traditional operation that may be as long as 6 to 8 inches.



Dr David Khoo Sin Keat

Dr David Khoo Sin Keat

Consultant Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon

MD (UKM), FRCS (Edinburgh), Fellowship in Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery (Mayo Clinic, USA)


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