An easily “replaceable” cardiac valve prosthesis has been designed. It consists of two parts: (1) a sewing ring incorporating a circlip and (2) a functioning valve (either mechanical or tissue). The circlip is encased in a sewing ring, which is sutured into the natural valve annulus, and grips the functional part of the prosthesis, thereby preventing dislodgment. A simple instrument has been designed to open the circlip a few millimeters to allow easy removal or insertion of the functional element. This sewing ring/circlip with the functional element of a Björk-Shiley prosthesis was used in 10 baboons undergoing mitral valve replacement. Removal and replacement of the functional element was carried out at a second operation between 1 and 12 weeks later. There were no operative deaths. Baboons were electively killed one day to twelve months after the second operation. There were no complications related to the prosthesis; cardiac catheterization showed normal hemodynamics before and after the second operative procedure. © 1988, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. All rights reserved.