The Center for Heart Valve Disease is one of six centers within our Heart and Vascular Center, a nationally recognized program for highly specialized cardiovascular care.
The center treats the most complex of valvular and structural heart disease by marrying clinical expertise with sophisticated diagnostic technologies and state-of-the-art treatments.
The heart’s job is to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Blood always flows through the body in the same pattern, and along the way, it passes through four valves that are part of the structure of the heart: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valves. Each valve has cusps (flaps) that open and close with each heartbeat, ensuring blood flows in the right direction through your heart’s four chambers and to the rest of your body.
Heart valve disease is any condition that prevents your valves from functioning properly. Birth defects, age-related changes, infections or other conditions can cause one or more of your heart valves to malfunction, which can make your heart work harder and affect its ability to pump blood.
Heart valves can have two basic problems:
A common sign of heart valve disease is an unusual heartbeat sound called a heart murmur. Your doctor can hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope. However, many people have heart murmurs without having heart valve disease or any other heart problems. Heart valve disease often worsens over time, so signs and symptoms may occur years after a heart murmur is first detected.
Some people with heart valve disease experience these symptoms:
Accurately diagnosing heart valve disease is vital for proper treatment. NCH uses sophisticated technology that can detect heart valve disease, even before symptoms start, including:
After you’ve been diagnosed with valvular disease, you will be referred to our Valve Clinic where you’ll meet one-on-one with members of the team who will discuss treatment options with you, including surgical versus minimally invasive procedures. They will work closely with you throughout the entire process and develop a personalized treatment and recovery plan.
Conditions treated at the Center for Heart Valve Disease include aortic valve disease, bicuspid aortic valve disease and mitral valve disease.
Our Center for Heart Valve Disease offers leading-edge surgical and minimally invasive techniques.