The heart contains four single-direction valves that help blood to enter, leave and circulate through it as it prepares and sends this vital liquid throughout the body. A diseased or damaged valve cannot move blood in the right amount or direction, affecting a person’s breathing, energy level, thinking ability and level of physical activity. Valves can be replaced, and sometimes repaired, by open-heart surgery or new catheter-based techniques such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) or Mitraclip. Following is a list of valves and purpose for each of them.
- Aortic valve: A valve through which blood leaves the heart and enters the aorta, the largest artery in the body.
- Mitral valve: A two-leaf valve connecting the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart. In a healthy heart, blood passes only through from the top (atrium) down into the ventricle.
- Tricuspid valve: This valve lies between the right atrium and ventricle, or the upper and lower chambers of the heart, through which blood flows.
- Pulmonary valve: Blood runs through this valve on its way to the pulmonary artery and lungs, where it gives off carbon dioxide and becomes enriched with oxygen.
- Heart Murmurs: A heart murmur is the sound of blood flowing through the heart, due to anything from healthy heart exertion during exercise to a diseased heart valve or other abnormality. A heart murmur can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease.
Early Diagnosis, Better Patient Outcomes
Using minimally invasive and surgical techniques, specialists at SLUHN Heart Valve Program are better able to catch disease in its earliest stages, leading to better outcomes. Advanced valve disease is often irreversible and may progress to congestive heart failure, a potentially debilitating or even fatal illness.
Integrated Heart Care
You will find all the care you need in St. Luke’s Heart Valve Program. A patient navigator will be there to answer your questions and guide you through the process of diagnosis and treatment. Our specialists work together to provide seamless, comprehensive care.
This full spectrum of services enables us to diagnose and treat your condition more efficiently. Early diagnosis and quick access to treatment does more than add to your convenience – it aids in your recovery.
Heart Valve Treatments
Treatment of heart valve disease depends on the severity of your symptoms and any additional medical problems you may have. Treatment can include medication, minimally invasive valve repair procedures, or surgery to replace or repair the valve, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
If surgery is not an option, or your valve condition is mild, your doctor may prescribe medication. Taking medication can help relieve symptoms of heart valve disease and decrease your risk of further problems.
Valve Replacement and Repair
Valve replacement and repair are the most common treatments for patients with severe valve disease.
Transcatheter Valve Replacement
Patients who have severe valve stenosis and are high-risk for open-heart surgery may be eligible for a transcatheter valve replacement.
Our team that includes cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists use this procedure to implant a new valve without opening the patient's chest or stopping the heart.
Nationally Recognized for Outstanding Heart Care
St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) Heart and Vascular Center is a nationally recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of complex valve disease. A multidisciplinary team consisting of highly skilled physicians and surgeons offer the most advanced interventional and minimally invasive surgical treatments for complex conditions of the heart valves.
St. Luke’s Heart Valve Program offers comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of heart valve disease. Whether you are just beginning to show symptoms or you have advanced heart valve disease, you can trust that you are receiving extraordinary heart care.
The Heart Valve Program is part of SLUHN Heart & Vascular Center, recipient of prestigious awards from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for our high standard of care for patients with chest pain.