Valve Surgery

Although valve replacement (mechanical or tissue) has been the traditional approach to correction of valvular cardiac disorders, valve repair (particularly the mitral valve) has emerged over the past decade as the procedure of choice. A wide range of valve repair techniques is offered to each patient according to individual needs. All attempts are made to save the patient’s own valve, but artificial mechanical and tissue replacements may be required. Currently, 79 percent of all mitral valves and 95 percent of tricuspid valves are repaired, leaving the patient’s own valve in place. Valve replacement of the aortic valve is still the primary technique, but increasingly, our surgeons are implanting newer tissue valves, resulting in an increase in durability and fewer patients needing lifelong anticoagulants.

Our success rates for aortic valve surgery are very favorable. We have also offered aortic valve sparing procedures for more than a decade to patients with a leaky valve, an aneurysm of the ascending aorta or a dissection of the aorta, all with good results.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

For patients in need of valve replacement, yet who are considered too high-risk for open heart surgery, we are one of the few hospitals in the region to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). This innovative non-surgical procedure was developed for patients with severe aortic stenosis, or diseased heart valves. The procedure replaces a narrowed or diseased aortic heart valve through a catheter inserted in the thigh. A new valve is fed through the catheter to the heart; in effect, replacing the valve from the inside. The procedure is performed in an operating room by an interventional cardiologist with support from our multidisciplinary cardiothoracic surgery staff.