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Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

After diagnosis, our Structural Heart Team at Kettering Health Network can begin to fully assess the severity of your valve disease. Treatment of your valve disease depends on how far the disease has progressed. If your disease and symptoms are mild, medication may be prescribed to regulate your heart beat and prevent blood clots. However, if the disease persists or worsens, the following options are available to repair or replace your heart valves.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Repair, or TAVR, is a non-surgical, less invasive means of Aortic Valve Repair indicated for those with severe aortic stenosis that are high-risk or too sick for open heart surgery. During TAVR, an Interventional Cardiologist will insert a hollow tube called a sheath into an artery in your leg. Your new valve, attached to a catheter, will be inserted through this sheath and guided to your diseased valve. The balloon on this catheter will be inflated with fluid, expanding your new valve, and pushing aside the leaflets of the diseased valve. The balloon will be deflated and the catheter removed leaving your brand new valve permanently placed.

Learn More about TAVR
Balloon Valvuloplasty, like TAVR, is a non-surgical intervention used to reduce Aortic Valve Stenosis, or the narrowing of the Aortic Valve. The same procedural steps as the TAVR are performed but unlike TAVR a new valve is not placed. In this procedure a balloon is advanced to your diseased valve, inflated to stretch the valve open, and removed with nothing left behind. Doing this should allow the Aortic Valve to open and close more freely.

Based on the patient's medical condition, some valves can be repaired. During this surgical procedure, the leaflets of the valve can be cut down to ensure proper closure, a ring can be sewn around the outside of the valve opening to provide more support or to narrow a dilated valve and repairing the chords that provide structural support for a weakened valve.

If a valve cannot be repaired, it is surgically replaced with either a mechanical or biological valve. The diseased valve is cut out and the new valve is sewn in while the patient is on a heart/lung bypass machine. Mechanical valves are made of plastic, carbon or metal and last a long time. Mechanical valves do require the patient to use blood thinning medications to prevent clotting. Biological valves are made from animal tissue or from a human donated heart tissue and may need to be replaced every 10 years or so. Biological valve patients do not need to use blood thinning medications.

Mitral Valve Clipping is a non-surgical means of reducing Mitral Valve Regurgitation, or the backwards flow of blood. During Mitral Valve Clipping an Interventional Cardiologist will insert a hollow tube called a sheath into a vein in your leg. A catheter is then advanced to the "right side" of your heart. Using echocardiography the Interventional Cardiologist will guide this catheter to the "left side" of your heart using a technique called transseptal puncture. This catheter will then be advanced through the Mitral Valve. A clip is then used to grasp the two leaflets of your Mitral Valve. Once placement is confirmed via echocardiography, these clips will be deployed and will permanently remain attached to the Mitral Valve to reduce regurgitation.