Heart valve repair or replacement is a type of heart surgery that is done when heart valves fail to perform properly. In many cases, people are unaware of heart valve problems until other issues bring them to light. There are several types of heart valve problems that can be corrected by either repairing the valve or by replacing it. Heart valve damage may occur to any of the valves of the heart including the aortic, mitral, pulmonic and tricuspid. Traditional valve repair or replacement surgery requires the entire chest cavity be opened up during surgery. Minimally invasive heart valve surgery uses small incisions so the chest does not need to be opened. This means that the recovery time is greatly reduced. Once the repair or replacement is made, the heart will function normally. Having surgery to repair the problem will help alleviate further problems that can result from the heart working improperly.