Paravalvular Leak Closure

What is paravalvular leak closure?
Some patients with artificial heart valves may develop a significant leak around their valves with symptoms of congestive heart failure and destruction of blood cells with anemia. Using catheter-based techniques and plugs, these defects around the valves can be closed with minimal or no residual leak and significant improvement in symptoms.

How does it work?

Most often, the doctor will insert a catheter in the femoral vein in the groin (leg). A wire is guided through the catheter to the upper left chamber of the heart (left atrium), using a technique to go through the septum (muscular wall that divides the upper chambers of the heart into the right and left sides). A special catheter is used to place a closure device around the leak. The closure device basically acts like a plug to stop the leak.

Results and Expectations

In most cases, the procedure is done using a combination of local anesthetic and conscious sedation. For patients with a paravalvular leak, this closure procedure is an effective and less invasive treatment than surgery.