There are four valves in the heart. Two are most often involved in heart surgery, but sometimes a third valve might be involved.
The two most commonly involved valves are on the left side of the heart:
- the aortic valve – located between the heart and the aorta (the main artery of the body)
- the mitral valve – located between the chambers of the heart.
The procedure for heart valve surgery is very similar to that for coronary artery bypass operations. The heart is stopped before the valve is repaired, or removed and replaced.