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Children's Mercy's congenital heart surgeons specialize in reconstructive valve surgery techniques for children and adults. Our team is at the forefront of developing alternative valve therapies that include repairs, reconstructions, and human valve transplants.

Valvular heart disease is often congenital in origin, leading to more rapid wear and loss of valve function over time. Additional secondary loading of the heart can result in heart muscle hypertrophy, chamber dilatation or involvement of other valves.

Types of Valvular Heart Disease

Historically, only two types of valve surgeries were available, both of which involved replacements using either a biological valve obtained from an animal (i.e. porcine, bovine, etc.), or a mechanical valve constructed of novel materials, such as pyrolytic carbon, titanium, stainless steel or plastics. 

Both of these valve types have been less successful in the younger patients who present for surgery as a consequence of congenital defects. These valve replacement types are best used in the elderly patients who present with acquired degenerative valve disease or valve disease occurring as a consequence of coronary artery disease.

The mechanical valve requires blood thinner (i.e. coumadin) and the xenograft valves have reduced durability in children and adults (sometimes as short as two-to-four years).

Aortic valve

  • Critical aortic stenosis

  • Bicuspid aortic valve disease

  • Aortic root abnormalities causing valve dysfunctionAortic leaflet salvage procedures

  • Aortic root reconstructions

  • Marfan's Disease

  • Aortic leaflet prolapse

  • Aorto-ventricular tunnel

  • Sub-aortic VSDSub-aortic stenosis, membranes, HOCM and IHSS

  • Ross Operation (autologous pulmonary valve switch)

Pulmonary valve

  • Aortic and pulmonary allografts, autografts, homografts and valve transplant

  • Conduits and re-operative conduit replacements

  • Pulmonary valve repair

  • Complex pulmonary artery reconstructions

Tricuspid valve

  • Valve repairs (classic and endocardial cushion defects)

  • Ebstein's valve repair

  • Valve replacement

Mitral valve

Mitral valve replacement has significant consequences to both the quality and the duration of life of the receiving patient. For the younger patient, innovative repairs and selective replacements can offer improved survival and reduced morbidities.

Mitral valve repairs

  • Anterior leaflet

  • Posterior leaflet

  • Mitral valve prolapse

  • Complex leaflet and subvalvular (chords and papillary muscles) repairs

  • Rings, replacement chords (PTFE) and chordal transposition

  • Mitral Valve Replacement

  • Individualized - for each patient age, lifestyle and preference

  • Complex replacements/repairs for abnormal anatomy of congenital origin (i.e. corrected transposition, cor triatriatum and mitral valve ring)

  • Selective addition of electro physiologic procedures, MAZE and pacemaker therapies

Double and triple valve replacement/reconstruction combinations

Biological valves, rings and tissue repairs that optimize ventricular function without requiring long-term anticoagulation.

Congenital cardiac patients: late phase status post childhood surgical repairs

Many patients who have had successful surgery as a child can develop late-phase consequences related to underlying congenital heart disease or consequences or caused by the type of surgery performed. 

  • Evaluation of significance of residual defects with revisions and re-repair as necessary: complex reconstructions

  • Re-operations for conduit, valve and pacemaker replacements

  • Catheter-based therapies (by our invasive cardiologists specializing in congenital heart disease)

  • Hybrid surgical/catheterization procedures and combinations