Dr. Pravin Kulkarni

Consultant-Adult Cardiac Surgery,Aortic & Transplant Surgeon


The aorta is the largest artery in the body, which carries blood from the heart and extends down through the abdomen. The aortic valve is present between the aorta and the lower chamber of the heart on the left side. It opens up to allow blood flow out of the heart and then closes to prevent the backward flow of the blood into the heart.

Aortic valve diseases include aortic valve regurgitation (aortic valve does not close properly, resulting in backflow of blood into the heart) and aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve, which results in restriction of blood flow). The aortic valve defect may be present at birth or can be acquired at a later stage in life.

Acquired aortic valve diseases occur because of structural changes in the valve which can be caused by rheumatic fever, infectious endocarditis, and aortic valve degeneration. Other causes include hypertension, tumors, radiation exposure, heart attack, and connective tissue disorders.

Aortic surgery is done to repair the enlarged aorta (aortic aneurysm), the aortic valve, the holes in aortic valves and to replace the aortic valves.

  • Aortic aneurysm – Aortic aneurysm is the enlarged portion of the ascending region of the aorta. If the aorta is enlarged by 4 or 5 cm in diameter, it is replaced at the time of aortic valve repair.
  • Aortic valve repair – It is done to treat leaking valves. The bicuspid aortic valve is repaired by reshaping the leaflets of the aortic valve such that the valve opens and closes completely.
  • Repair of tears of valve or holes – The surgeon sews the tears or holes on the valve leaflets with tissue patches.
  • Aortic valve replacement – Your surgeon removes the damaged aortic valve and replaces it with either mechanical (plastic, carbon, or metal), biological valve (from animal tissues), or human donated valve.