Information for the public

This procedure can only be done as part of a research study. This is because there is not enough evidence to be sure how well it works or how safe it is.

Your healthcare professional should talk to you about the research.

The aortic valve (1 of 4 valves in the heart) sometimes becomes leaky or narrow. This means that blood does not get pumped around the body properly, which can cause palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain. It can eventually lead to heart failure and death. In this procedure, the diseased part of the valve is replaced by some of the person’s own (autologous) pericardium (the tissue around the heart), which is treated with a chemical called glutaraldehyde. The aim is to allow the valve to function normally and to reduce symptoms.

The NHS webpage on aortic valve replacement may have information on your condition and treatment options.

Is this procedure right for me?

You should be included in making decisions about your care.

Your healthcare professionals should explain the risks and benefits of this procedure and how it is done. They should discuss your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. They should offer you more information about the procedure. Your family or carers can be involved if you want or need them to be.

You will be asked to decide whether you agree (consent) to have the procedure. Find out more about giving consent to treatment on the NHS website.

Some questions to think about

  • How many appointments will I need?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • Will I have to stay in hospital?
  • What happens if it does not work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I do not want the procedure?
  • Are other treatments available?

Information and support

Heart Valve Voice,, can give you advice and support.

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-5327-1

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