Paravalvular Leak Closure

What Is Paravalvular Leak Closure?

When a paravalvular leak becomes severe it may need to be closed. Paravalvular leak closure is a procedure used to close defects or holes next to surgical heart valves which are severely leaking. This method of fixing a leaking heart valve is minimally invasive and can be used to defer the need for repeat surgery to replace the failing valve. 

What Can a Paravalvular Leak Closure Accomplish?

After a paravalvular leak closure, proper blood flow and circulation is restored to your body, giving you more energy. It can also:

  • Reduce or eliminate heart murmurs or palpitations
  • Reduce or eliminate swelling in feet and legs
  • Reduce or eliminate chest discomfort or pain
  • Enable you to be more physically active without experiencing fatigue or shortness of breath

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?

This procedure is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab using fluoroscopic guidance with an Interventional Cardiologist. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a small incision is made in the groin to access the vein or artery to place an IV.  The rest of the procedure is performed through this IV or sheath. Through this sheath, catheters or long tubes are advanced through the defects or holes beside the valves to deploy a mesh plug that expands to fill the defect and block blood flow through the defect. This procedure is often done with the patient asleep under general anesthesia on the ventilator.


Your recovery will depend heavily on your condition before the procedure. Recovery often involves an overnight observation on a telemetry floor but further observation may be needed to monitor any heart rhythm issues or other unforeseen issues. Patient are able to get back to the prior activity with minimal restrictions after leaving the hospital. 

Estimated Recovery Timeline

Many people feel relief of symptoms almost immediately. You will tire easily in the days following hospital discharge, but your energy will increase as you heal. Make sure to keep your follow-up appointments and follow instructions for heart-healthy eating and exercise.

Paravalvular Leak Closure Possible Risks

Any medical procedure carries risks, but paravalvular leak closure is typically a safe and effective procedure. You will be given instructions about how to avoid these specific risks, as well as what to do if you experience these issues after your procedure:

  • Blood clot or damage to the blood vessel at catheter insertion sites
  • Significant blood loss that may require blood transfusion 
  • Infection 
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Stroke
  • Damage to heart valve
  • Pneumonia

Next Steps with MyChart

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