The Valve Institute
Advanced treatment for heart valve disease
Heart valve disease can disturb the normal flow of blood through the heart. This can affect your overall health and keep you from enjoying the activities you love. Heart valves can develop one or both of the following problems:
- The valve opening becomes narrow (stenotic), limiting the amount of blood pumped to the rest of the body.
- The valve does not close completely (valve insufficiency or regurgitation), meaning blood flows backward instead of only forward. Backward blood flow reduces your heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of your body. This also causes a buildup of backpressure in your heart and lungs.
Causes of heart valve disease
Heart valve disease can develop before birth (congenital), be acquired during your lifetime or be the result of an infection. Acquired heart valve disease is the most common. Sometimes the cause is unknown, but it involves changes in the structure of your heart valves as a result of mineral deposits on the valve or surrounding tissue. Infective heart valve disease refers to changes in your heart valve caused by certain infections or diseases such as rheumatic fever.
Symptoms of heart valve disease range from mild to nonexistent and can include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty catching your breath, especially after you have been active or when you lie down flat in bed.
- Often feeling dizzy or too weak to perform your normal activities.
- Pressure or weight in your chest, especially when you are active or when you go out into cold air.
- Heart palpitations or a feeling that your heart is beating irregularly, skipping beats, or flip-flopping in your chest.
- Swelling in your ankles, feet, or belly.
- Sudden weight gain, possibly as much as two to three pounds in one day.
Valve Replacement and Repair at The Valve Institute
Heart valve repair is a surgical or minimally invasive procedure that corrects a heart valve that is not functioning properly. Heart valve repair usually involves the heart valve leaflets that open and close to pump blood through the heart. In some cases, your doctor may find that repairing your heart valve is the best way to treat your heart valve disease. Another repair option is the MitraClip, used to address inoperative mitral valve regurgitation that occurs as a result of degenerative changes to the mitral valve.
Heart valve replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged heart valve with a new valve. When repair is not an option, replacing your damaged heart valve may be the most effective treatment for your condition.
To better serve patients with valve disease, the valve clinic initiative screens potential candidates for a timely and lifesaving intervention. Once screened, cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons provide patients with an individualized treatment plan.
Hybrid Catheterization Lab
Part cath lab and part surgical suite, the hybrid catheterization lab provides high quality imaging and allows physicians to use advanced technology in a safe environment.
The Valve Institute specializes in the treatment of:
- Aortic insufficiency
- Aortic stenosis
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Mitral valve stenosis
- Dilated cardiomyopathy with mitral regurgitation
- Cardiac catheterization
- Intracardiac ultrasound
- 2-D and 3-D echocardiography
- 2-D and 3-D transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)
- Electrophysiology lab
- Cardiac resynchronization
- Peripheral vascular diagnostice studies and intervention
Erin Crowell, MSN, ARNP, CCRN, ACNP-BC
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Erin Crowell, MSN, ARNP, CCRN, ACNP-BC