Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
We believe in repairing the heart before replacing it. At Stanford Health Care, our expert heart surgeons offer a new technique for repairing heart valves. Called ‘natural repair,’ this technique preserves as much of the natural heart structure as possible and avoids the need for artificial devices.
When you choose Stanford Health Care for a natural heart valve repair, you benefit from:
Heart valve repair expertise: Many of our surgeons helped develop this new and advanced repair technique. Because we always try to repair the heart valves before considering replacement, we perform a high volume of repairs and offer considerable expertise on a wide range of cases, from basic to very complex.
Better outcomes: Natural heart valve repair uses your own heart tissue to rebuild the valves, leading to a heart that functions better after surgery than an artificial valve. A natural heart valve prevents you from being on lifelong anticoagulation medications and weekly blood draws.
Leaders in heart valve care: Our heart surgeons have consistently been at the forefront of heart valve repair and replacement. For more than 50 years, Stanford doctors have built upon traditional techniques to develop better ways to fix faulty heart valves.
Minimally invasive experience: Every patient undergoing heart valve repair benefits from minimally invasive heart surgery, one of the most advanced techniques available today. It avoids the need for open-chest surgery and leads to faster recoveries and excellent outcomes.
Benefits of natural heart valve repair
Many patients with heart valve disease face two options for valve replacement surgery: implanting a mechanical device or using a biologic valve from cow or pig tissue.
One of the key benefits of natural heart valve repair is that we preserve as much healthy heart tissue as possible. Our research shows that your own heart valves work better than replacement options; they last longer than prosthetic valves, and do not require anticoagulation. The result is an improved life expectancy.
Other benefits include:
Overall better heart function
Lower risk of complications
No daily medications, such as blood thinners
No weekly blood draws
No need for open-chest surgery
As a minimally invasive procedure, natural heart valve repair offers benefits like faster recovery time and minimal scarring. Learn more about minimally invasive heart surgery.
Natural heart valve repair: What to expect
Our doctors use innovative repair techniques to use your own healthy tissue to repair damaged valves.
During the procedure, our surgeons link the diseased or weak part of the damaged valve to a healthy, structurally intact portion. A device called an annuloplasty ring helps seal the valve to ensure proper function.
Afterward, the repaired valve will perform and look just like a healthy valve.