Heart valve problems can be present at birth or caused by infections, heart attacks or heart disease. When treatments like medicine or other procedures do not work, surgeons need to repair or replace the valve.

Patients undergoing valve repair or replacement are in excellent hands at Grand Strand Regional Heart Center. In 2012, 2011 and 2010, the hospital was ranked number one in South Carolina for cardiac surgery by HealthGrades.

Cardiothoracic surgeons use traditional and minimally invasive techniques to take care of patients who need mitral valve repair, replacement or aortic valve replacement. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery are smaller scars, less pain, fewer blood transfusions, shorter hospitals stays and a quicker return to activities.

Average hospital stay after valve replacement or repair is three to five days. Patients can expect to return to driving in three weeks and return to part-time work in an office setting in four weeks.

Read one patient's story about minimally invasive surgery