Although the atrioventricular valve and its attachments can sometimes obscure the superior margin of a ventricular septal defect, concern for valvular competence has made surgeons hesitant to take down the atrioventricular valve. Over a 10-year period, the right atrioventricular valve was taken down to improve exposure for ventricular septal defect repair in 40 patients at our institution, and follow-up echocardiographic studies to determine the degree of valvular regurgitation were available in 32. On the basis of the area of the color flow jet, valvular regurgitation was graded as none in 22 and trivial in 10. Heart block did not develop in any patient, and there were no deaths. Takedown and resuspension of the atrioventricular valve is a safe and effective technique that improves exposure for ventricular septal defect repair and does not adversely affect valve competence.