Learn how it's Safe@Inova

Get the facts on how we're ensuring safety at our locations, our PPE safety requirements, and more, so you know it's safe to receive the care you need—as well as safe for us to continue delivering your care. Whether your visit is for routine care, emergency care, or COVID-19 care, you have a nationally recognized leader in safety, ready for you. See temporary restricted visitation policy and COVID-19 vaccine update.

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Heart Valve Repair and Replacement

Heart Valve Repair and Replacement

Intervention for an absent or defective heart valve depends totally on a child’s individual situation. A child’s heart can continue to perform well with a defective right-sided valve. The left-sided valve function, however, is more critical and repair is often needed.

We rarely replace a defective valve in a child with an artificial valve. Having an artificial valve requires taking blood thinners, which we try to avoid. Instead we use human allograft materials, also known as homograft material, when valve replacement is needed. These human cadaver valves are donated and removed shortly after death. We sterilize the valves and preserve them in a frozen state. A size-appropriate valve is selected for a child.

The long-term effectiveness and durability of these valves is not perfect, but they currently are the best available option for pediatric valve replacement.

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Donate and help fund life-saving programs, research and support
for our pediatric patients. 

Learn more about giving to Inova Children's Heart Center