Heart valve disease occurs if one or more of the heart's valves don't work well. In order to keep the blood flowing forward during its journey through the heart, there are valves between each of the heart’s pumping chambers. The heart has four valves:
- tricuspid valve - located between the right atrium and the right ventricle
- pulmonary (or pulmonic) valve - located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery
- mitral valve - located between the left atrium and the left ventricle
- aortic valve - located between the left ventricle and the aorta
These valves have tissue flaps that open and close with each heartbeat. The flaps make sure blood flows in the right direction through your heart's four chambers and to the rest of your body.
When heart valves become damaged or diseased, they may not function properly. When one or more valves becomes stenotic (hardened), the heart muscle must work harder to pump the blood through the valve. Some reasons why heart valves become stenotic include infection and aging. If one or more valves become insufficient (leaky), blood leaks backwards which means that less blood is pumped in the proper direction. The physician may decide that the diseased valve(s) needs to be surgically repaired or replaced.
Structural Heart Program
The Structural Heart Program at CIS provides minimally-invasive procedures to treat life-threatening valve disorders and structural heart defects. Through collaboration between interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, CIS teams across the region strive to pioneer innovative heart solutions and provide the best possible outcomes for our patients with structural heart diseases and conditions.
Conditions we treat:
- Mitral Valve Stenosis
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation
- Patent Foramen Ovales
- Paravalvular Leaks - Aortic and Mitral
- Congenital Heart Defects, such as Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Atrial Septal Defect amd Ventricular Septal Defect
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Degenerative Aortic Bioprosthesis
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
- Balloon Valvuloplasty
- Percutaneous Mitral Valve Clip Placement
- Septal Defect and Patent Foramen Ovale Closure
- Left Atrial Appendage Closure/Ligation
- Coronary Fistula Closure
- Transcatheter Paravalvular Leak Closure
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
During a TAVR procedure, the cardiovascular experts at CIS make a tiny incision near the groin or in a major leg artery, then guide a long tube about the width of a pencil into the body. A new valve containing a collapsed balloon on one end is placed inside the patient’s diseased valve and inflated. When the balloon is inflated, it immediately restores blood flow from the heart. The patient’s doctor will ensure the new valve is working properly before closing up the incision.
Unlike traditional open-heart surgery, the TAVR procedure:
- Is a closed-chest treatment
- Takes place while the patient’s heart is still beating
- Eliminates the need for the heart-lung machine
- Doesn’t require stopping the heart
- Results in faster recovery times
The TAVR procedure may involve general anesthesia and is associated with specific contraindications as well as adverse effects, including risks of death, stroke, major vascular complications and major bleeding, and other life-threatening and serious events. Those eligible for a TAVR procedure include people with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis who are at an intermediate or greater risk for open-heart surgery as determined by a specialized heart team. At this time, TAVR is not approved for everyone.
To learn more about our Structural Heart services and TAVR, contact our Research Department at 800-445-9676.