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Question:

Is it possible for a heart valve to be so damaged that surgical replacement is not possible?

I have a unique question and I am unable to find the answer anywhere.  Please tell me is it possible that a heart valve is damaged so severely that it cannot be replaced?  Doctor said (during surgery) that infection is very severe, we are unable to put the valve at its place. If this condition is possible, then can it be diagnosed or observed before surgery by means of MRI? 

submitted by Bharat from India on 9/23/2012

Answer:

James J. Livesay, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, James J. Livesay, MD  

Infections can severely damage the heart valve and make it leak. Usually, if the infection cannot be cleared or if the leakage is severe, the valve will need to be totally excised to eradicate the infection, and be replaced with a new prosthetic heart valve to prevent valvular regurgitation. If the infection severely damages the adjacent structures with an abscess, tissue replacement may be required with biologic substitutes.  I do not understand the doctor's comment.  Perhaps you can speak with him again for clarification.

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Updated October 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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