07 5699 8258 [email protected]

Aortic Valve Replacement

All artificial valve prosthesis will cause discreet obstruction, and leak a little bit – nothing matches nature!

Ask your carer to read all information material you’d been given.

Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR)

Can be indicated in some circumstances:

in isolation, when there is severe damage to the valve, either obstruction (also called ‘stenosis’) or leakage (‘regurgitation’ or ‘insufficiency’)

  • When there is moderate damage to the valve and another cardiac surgery is necessary (e.g. CABG, repair of aneurysm in the ascending aorta)
  • Infection of the aortic valve

The Operation

Conventionally, the heart is accessed via a vertical incision over the breastbone (called ‘sternum’). The blood is thinned, the heart-lung machine is connected and cardiac preservation is then established.   The aorta is opened and the native aortic valve is removed with extreme care to clean all debris. The aortic valve prosthesis is then stitched to the heart. The aorta is closed and air is evacuated from the heart. The blood supply to the heart is resumed and it starts to beat again. Some times a small electric shock is used to re-establish normal rhythm. Finally, the heart takes over the circulation again and the heart-lung machine is disconnected. The surgeon controls potential sites of bleeding and inserts chest drains. Sometimes, a temporary pacemaker wire is also inserted. The breastbone is closed with stainless steel wires.

Associated Risks

AVR is a standard procedure within cardiac surgery. Nevertheless, in small number of cases, the operation may not achieve desired outcome.

  • General complications that can occur include infection in wound or other organs, bleeding and blood transfusion, clots in calves and lung, pain, need for other procedures (drain fluid or air from chest, or fluid around heart), kidney, liver and/or lung dysfunction, abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation, nerve injury, stroke, even death.
  • Specific complications include leaking around the valve, valve malfunction, valve clotting, valve infection, breakage of red cells (haemolysis). Some of them could require surgery to fix.

Symptoms and signs of heart failure may persist depending of the status of the heart and lungs. In case of mechanical prosthesis, noise can be cumbersome. Please talk to your surgeon about your individual condition and circumstances, and about any questions or doubts you may have.

For an appointment or seeking a second opinion with Dr Provenzano, please contact:

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites 14 Hill Street, Southport

P: (07) 5699 8258   F: (07) 5676 6784

Dr Sylvio Provenzano


Dr Sylvio Provenzano is an exam-qualified Cardiothoracic Surgeon by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). He specialises in cardiac, thoracic and congenital cardiac surgery.

Opening Hours

Gold Coast Private Specialist Suites

14 Hill Street, Southport 4215
9:00 – 16:00
Phone: (07) 5699 8258
Fax: (07) 5676 6784
PO Box 809, Southport BC, Qld 4215