Valve Repair or Replacement (Mitral Valve Surgery & TAVI)

Our specialist cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care can use innovative techniques to treat damaged or diseased heart valves.

There are four valves in the heart and each is responsible for pumping blood in the right direction around the body. When the valves fail to open properly, they can obstruct blood flow. This is known as valve narrowing or stenosis. When they fail to close properly, blood can leak backwards. This is called leaky valve or regurgitation.

Depending on the extent of damage to the valve and the affect it is having on the heart, the valve can be repaired or replaced.

  • Valve repair: This is usually used on mitral valves that leak but are not severely damaged
  • Valve replacement: This involves replacing the diseased valve with a mechanical valve or animal tissue valve


Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care offers the following heart valve repair and replacement procedures to private patients.

Mitral valve surgery

Mitral valve surgery is performed to treat stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakage) of the mitral valve. We offer minimally invasive mitral valve surgery to eligible patients. This can help to reduce pain, scarring and recovery time.

Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery

  • This involves using specially-designed telescopic instruments to perform the operation via a small incision on the right side of the chest.
  • It may be necessary to make another small incision in the groin to allow the placement of a tube (cannula) to control the blood flow to the heart during the operation.
  • The typical hospital stay following mitral valve surgery is 7 to 10 days.


  • To treat mitral regurgitation, the mitral valve can be repaired with a MitraClip.
  • It is a transcatheter procedure, whereby the heart is accessed by inserting a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) into a vein leading from the leg to the heart.
  • The benefits of this procedure include an improvement of symptoms such as heart failure and shortness of breath, caused by mitral regurgitation or stenosis.
  • The hospital stay following the MitraClip tends to be around 3 days. The recovery time is quicker than mitral valve surgery.

Aortic valve surgery

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)

  • This procedure involves inserting an artificial heart valve inside the narrowed aortic valve using a catheter.
  • The valve consists of a metal frame (stent) and the outer lining of a cow’s heart. The stent, with the valve inside, is inserted into your body through a catheter which leads to the heart via an vein either in your leg, arm or chest.
  • The cardiologist will then expand the new valve open inside your aortic valve, using both x-ray and transesophageal imaging for guidance. Your old valve will therefore not be removed but will be used to anchor the new valve in place.
  • After the procedure, you will be taken to the intensive care unit or the recovery unit for observation. Length of hospital stay is usually 1-2 weeks.


As with any operation or cardiac procedure, there is a degree of risk. There is a small risk of stroke, kidney disease, bleeding and sternal wound infection. There is also a risk of developing atrial fibrillation – a type of heart rhythm in which the heart beats quickly and irregularly.


At Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care, we offer surgery for heart valve repair or replacement.

Our consultants offer valvular procedures at the following locations.

Harefield Hospital

Royal Brompton Hospital


Royal Brompton Hospital

Harefield Hospital

Book an appointment

Case Studies

Patient Video: Aortic Valve Replacement

Heart patient, Trudi Posner, 79, shares her story of having an aortic valve replacement at Harefield Hospital under the private care of consultant surgeon, Mr Mohamed Amrani.

Patient Video: Pacemaker fitting for arrhythmia

John shares his story about having treatment at Harefield Hospital, under the care of Consultant, Dr David Jones.