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Valve repair can usually be done on congenital valve defects (defects you are born with) and has a high success rate for treating mitral valve defects.
Severe valve damage means that the valve will need to be replaced. Valve replacement is most often used to treat aortic valves and severely damaged mitral valves. It is also used to treat any valve disease that is life threatening. Sometimes, more than one valve may be damaged in the heart, so patients may need more than one repair or replacement.