An annuloplasty is a procedure to tighten or reinforce the ring around a valve in the heart. This may be performed during other procedures to repair a heart valve.
Why it's done
The ring around a valve in the heart (annulus) can widen and change from its normal shape. This may occur when the heart is enlarged or when blood is leaking backward through the valve. The widening of the ring can cause the valve flaps (leaflets) attached to the ring not to open and close properly, which can cause blood to leak backward through the valve.
In some people, calcium deposits can build up on the ring, which can cause the valve flaps not to work properly and lead to blood leaking backward.
To repair these issues, an annuloplasty or other valve repair procedures may be performed. An annuloplasty may be done to reshape, reinforce or tighten the ring around a heart valve (annulus).
What you can expect
To perform this procedure, doctors measure the size of the existing ring. Doctors then sew a ring (band) to the existing ring around the valve. The ring may be rigid or flexible.
Doctors may perform annuloplasty alone or may combine annuloplasty with other techniques to repair a heart valve.
This procedure can be done during open-heart surgery or minimally invasive heart surgery, which involves smaller incisions.
Doctors are also researching less invasive procedures to conduct annuloplasty and other heart valve procedures using long, thin tubes (catheters).