Understanding Your Heart Valve Treatment Options

Updated:Jul 24,2015
3 What should I do?clipboard icon

Good news: recovery statistics are very good for people who receive proper treatment.

Some people live long and full lives with mild valvular problems and never require surgery. But once a heart valve begins to affect the heart’s ability to pump blood, it is likely to require a repair or replacement.

Treatment for valve disease will include a plan to:

  1. Protect your heart from further damage.
  2. Assess your need for medication to help manage symptoms.
  3. Repair the valve problem if needed.
  4. Communicate steps for management, self-care and the importance of follow-up care.

Generally, once it's determined that a diseased heart valve needs treatment, the available choices are valve repair or valve replacement:

Heart valve treatment explorer screenshotUnderstanding your heart valve problem: Which solution may be right for you?

Walk through a step-by-step interactive guide explaining your valve issue and treatment options with helpful videos, text summaries and links along the way.

Additional resources:
Print our handy pre-surgery checklist: Facing and Recovering from Major Surgery
Patient guide: Understanding Your Heart Valve Problem

Visit our Support Network for heart disease

This content was last reviewed on 03/26/14.

Heart Valves Problems and Disease


The Edwards Lifesciences Foundation is a proud national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Valvular Disease Education Center.

Learn more about Edwards Lifesciences.

Video: Preparing For Your Surgery

Find helpful tips from others who have successfully recovered from heart surgery, including how to plan and prepare for your surgery.