Treatment: Paravalvular Leak Closure

Paravalvular Leak Closure is a procedure to address a rare complication in the surgical treatment of valve disease.

To book offline, call our Heart Health centre directly on: 020 3653 2005


Treatment Info

A Paravalvular Leak is a rare complication in the surgical treatment of valve disease. Leaks can emerge over time or be an acute occurrence soon after surgery. The causes may be:

  • If you’ve had the same valve replaced numerous times, weak tissues occur
  • If you have been treated for endocarditis, infection can weaken the sutures
  • If there is severe calcification of the valve annulus, the stitches pull through the chalk

Once a leak occurs, symptoms include breathlessness and tiredness. In addition, the heart may weaken, leading to heart failure, infection (endocarditis) or anaemia.

Treatments include redo surgery or device-based Paravalvular Leak Closure.

Your Cardiologist will perform an Echocardiogram to confirm a Paravalvular Leak and will help to choose the right strategy to treat your condition. In addition, blood tests, a Transoesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE) and CT scanning are usually needed.


How is a Paravalvular Leak Closure performed?

A paravalvular leak closure is a similar procedure to that of an angiogram or angioplasty.

Before your procedure you will be given a general anaesthetic. To help your consultant navigate, your operation will be guided by X-rays and ultrasound pictures from a probe in your throat (TOE).

Your Cardiologist will steer a wire across the leak, and then an umbrella-like device will be passed through a catheter which will be placed from your groin up to your heart and across the gap between the valve and the heart tissue.

The device is deployed after testing the stability and function of the valves.

Treatment Risks

Device based Paravalvular Leak Closure is safe, and is seen as lower risk than redo open heart surgery. As with any procedure there can be risks, and with Paravalvular Leak Closure these include:

  • At the groin site- bruising, bleeding infection
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Increased valve dysfunction – if the umbrella device upsets the artificial heart valve
  • Anaemia- if a small hole is left behind, blood can be damaged as it passes through – haemolysis
  • Device embolization – if the device moves after deployment

Treatment Programme
Paravalvular Leak Closure


Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.


Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.


Consultation Required

For this treatment you will need to have a 1-to-1 consultation at OneWelbeck first. To book in with our team of expert clinicians or to find out more about the process contact the relevant centre team.


Doctor Referral Only

You will generally need to get a referral letter from your NHS GP, Private GP, or other doctor to access this service or treatment. Find out more including how we can assist you