Valvular Heart Disease Program
Coordinated Treatment for Heart Valve Disease
|Valvular disease, or heart valve disease, affects one or more of the heart’s four valves, which open and close with each heartbeat, to keep blood flowing in one direction. Valve disease may involve stenosis (narrowing of the valve) or regurgitation (backward flow of blood through the valve). Regurgitation, also known as insufficiency, is sometimes called “leaky valve.” A heart murmur, an abnormal sound heard during a heartbeat, is often harmless but can be a sign of valve disease. An estimated 5 million Americans are diagnosed with valve disease every year.
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Our Valvular Heart Disease Program provides a dedicated and coordinated approach to diagnosing and treating all types of valve disease. Led by a team of doctors representing multiple specialties (a “multidisciplinary team”), the program provides the individualized care each patient needs. Our specialists work collaboratively and use best-practice techniques and regular meetings (“valve conferences”) to discuss the care of each patient and develop personalized treatment plans.
Because we are part of an academic medical center, our patients have access to treatments not readily available at other institutions. Our dedication to quality care and continuous improvement means we have excellent outcomes that exceed those predicted by national standards.
Prompt, Patient-Centered CareOur Valvular Disease Clinic offers quick access to full evaluation, including consultations with cardiologists and, if surgery is necessary, with cardiac surgeons. We offer customized care in one convenient location and plan visits as conveniently as possible for our patients. We emphasize patient education and want patients to participate in their treatment decisions. Our team also works closely with referring physicians to coordinate consultation, treatment and follow-up care.
Weekly Valve ConferencesEach week, our team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other valvular disease specialists meet to discuss new cases. These weekly “valve conferences” help gather multiple opinions from highly specialized doctors to make sure that patients get the best treatment recommendations tailored to their needs.
Second Opinion ProgramWe offer an accessible, thorough second opinion program. Whether patients want to confirm their diagnosis or learn about more their treatment options, our valvular disease experts can help.
Conditions TreatedWe treat all types of heart valve disease, from the simplest to most complicated cases. Some common valve disease conditions include: mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation, mitral valve stenosis, aortic valve insufficiency, aortic valve regurgitation, aortic valve stenosis and others. Read more about valve disease conditions.
Advanced DiagnosticsThe Valvular Heart Disease Program has all of the latest imaging technology. In fact, the Heart and Vascular Center has the longest clinical experience in the state using real-time, 3-D echocardiography. Read more about our state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities.
Surgical and Non-Surgical TreatmentsWhile some patients may need surgery to repair or replace a heart valve, others may need only medications or close monitoring. At the Heart and Vascular Center, we offer the entire spectrum of care for valvular disease, including traditional open surgical procedures, minimally invasive surgery and non-surgical options. Learn more about treatments for valvular disease.
Exceptional StaffOur interdisciplinary Valvular Heart Disease team includes board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, a dedicated valvular disease nurse practitioner, a cardiac anesthesiologist and specially trained imaging experts. We have specialized expertise in diagnosing, managing and treating valve disease and are committed to patient care, research and teaching. Meet our Exceptional Staff.
Research EnvironmentBecause of our academic mission, heart and vascular patients have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of new treatment techniques, medications and devices. Medical College of Wisconsin physicians participate in significant clinical research trials to find new and more effective treatments for heart and vascular disease.
Author: Joan Pike
|Medical Reviewer: ||Drs. Woods and Nicolosi|
|Medical College of Wisconsin Cardiologist|
Last Review Date: Aug. 10, 2012
Online Editor(s): Kathryn Adam