Pulmonary Valve Replacement - Surgery
In some cases, the leaflets of the pulmonary valve can be abnormal. Valve leaflets can be thickened in which case the medical term for the problem is pulmonary stenosis. If the valve leaks then the medical term for this is pulmonary regurgitation. Leakage of the valve is particularly common in those patients who have had surgery for “Tetralogy of Fallot” during childhood. Both narrowing and leak can result in the muscle of the right-sided pumping chamber (right ventricle) having to work harder than normal. The muscle can become thickened or the chamber can stretch to a size that is bigger than usual. In most cases this is not a serious problem and needs no treatment. However, if the narrowing or leaking is severe then the heart cannot pump normally and an operation to replace the valve can be necessary. The diagram above shows a normal heart on the left and a heart with a narrowed pulmonary valve on the right.