A paravalvular leak is caused by a space between the patient’s natural heart tissue and a valve replacement. It occurs in a small number of patients who have had a valve replacement (mechanical or bioprosthetic) and most commonly affects the mitral valve, but it can also occur in the aortic and tricuspid valves.
When a leak is detected, usually by echocardiography, repair using a leak closure device is needed.
A surgeon will insert a catheter in the femoral vein in the groin. A wire is guided through the catheter to the upper left chamber of the heart using a technique to go through the septum. 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.