Heart Valve Care
Find comprehensive care for heart valve conditions at Cone Health. Remain close to home—and your support network—while getting advanced care from a multidisciplinary team that works together to create a customized treatment plan designed for you.
What Causes Heart Valve Problems?
Your heart valves—thin membranes attached to the heart’s wall—regulate blood flow by opening and closing as your heart beats. When your valves don’t work properly, they may restrict blood flow through your heart, or they may allow blood to move in the wrong direction. Valves can be damaged by conditions such as:
- Aortic stenosis
- Congenital conditions
- Coronary artery disease (ischemic heart disease)
- Infections, such as rheumatic fever and endocarditis
- Mitral valve prolapse (regurgitation)
- Non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
- Tumors of the heart
How Is Heart Valve Disease Diagnosed?
To diagnose heart valve disease, your doctor will physically examine you, ask about your symptoms, and review your personal and family medical histories. You also may take diagnostic tests such as:
- Cardiac catheterization – Evaluates blood flow and how well different parts of your heart function
- Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Reveals structure and function of your heart without exposing you to radiation
- Computed tomography (CT) angiogram – Creates detailed X-ray images of your heart and blood vessels
- Echocardiogram, including transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) – Uses ultrasound to create a moving picture of your heart
Multidisciplinary Heart Valve Clinic
You’ll appreciate the convenience of seeing all your providers on the same day when you visit the multidisciplinary heart valve clinic at Cone Health Heart & Vascular Center. Because your cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and other specialists work closely together, you benefit from a coordinated care plan that supports the best outcome for you.
Conservative Treatments for Heart Valve Disease
You may be able to reduce symptoms and slow the progression of your condition through conservative measures, such as:
- Eating a heart-healthy diet
- Staying physically active
- Quitting smoking
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing blood pressure and cholesterol
- Treating or preventing other heart conditions, such as arrhythmia, coronary heart disease and heart failure
Heart Valve Repair or Replacement
If your heart valve isn’t working well, your doctor may recommend a procedure to repair or replace the valve. Whenever possible, your Cone Health heart surgeon uses minimally invasive surgical techniques that leave your ribs and breastbone intact. At Cone Health, you can count on an experienced doctor to perform your procedure—you won’t find any surgical residents on our teams.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
If a conventional surgery is too risky for you, your treatment plan may include transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which uses thin, flexible tubes called catheters to place a new valve inside your damaged one.
Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)
Patients with mitral valve regurgitation will be able to avoid surgery with this minimally invasive procedure. The TMVR procedure involves sending a thin tube through a vein in the leg to reach the heart.
Learn more about heart and vascular surgery at Cone Health.