Fighting heart failure with ‘Fantastic Four,’ new guidelines
February 15, 2023
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UT Southwestern Medical Center has earned High Performing recognition from U.S. News & World Report for aortic valve surgery, placing us among the nation’s top hospitals for this procedure.
With UT Southwestern Medical Center's minimally invasive techniques to fix heart valve disease, you’ll recover more quickly and feel better faster.
We offer a variety of approaches to treat heart valve disorders, with a focus on minimally invasive surgery.
Four valves in the heart control blood flow. These valves make sure that blood flows in the right direction through the heart by opening and closing at the right time. When there’s a problem with a valve, there's a heart valve disorder.
Heart valve disorders make the heart work harder. As a result patients may feel tired or short of breath. UT Southwestern’s heart experts are focused on fixing heart valve disorders so patients feel better and have more energy.
Valve disease treatment has improved dramatically over the past 15 years, from being able to replace faulty valves with prosthetics to today, where we are now able to surgically repair the valves without cracking the chest (open surgery).
Through minimally invasive surgery, we need to make only a 2-inch incision to repair or replace a valve, and the recovery time is reduced to 10 days versus six weeks for traditional open surgery. We’ve performed more of these procedures than others in North Texas, and UT Southwestern is leading the advancement of additional new treatments.
There are two main types of valves that affect the heart: mitral and aortic.
Some people experience issues with the tricuspid valve (the valve that allows blood to flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle) and pulmonary valve (which allows blood to flow from the right ventricle to the lungs, where it receives oxygen), but these are less common in adults.
The main valve conditions that disrupt the flow of blood in your heart are:
A third type of heart valve disorder, atresia, is when the valve is closed or doesn’t exist. It’s normally diagnosed within a few days or birth and requires immediate treatment.
Valve disorders can affect any of the four valves, and are named based on the valve that causes the problem. The most common valve disorders include:
As you get older, your risk of getting a heart valve disorder increases. You may also be at higher risk if you’ve had a heart attack or heart failure, or are at risk for coronary artery disease.
Some people with a heart valve disorder experience no symptoms. Those who do may have:
If your doctor hears a heart murmur by listening to your heart with a stethoscope, this may indicate a valve problem. The next step is a referral to a cardiologist for further examination and additional testing, which may include:
Heart valve disorders are treated either surgically or percutaneously (a needle puncture through the skin). The goal is to repair or replace the valve, and this can be done in one of three ways: open surgery, minimally invasive surgery, or percutaneously. At UT Southwestern, we are experts in whichever treatment is appropriate for each patient, and we offer several innovative surgical options patients won’t find anywhere else in North Texas.
Traditionally, open surgery has been used for treating heart valves – the surgeon divides the breastbone to access the heart.
Whenever possible, we recommend minimally invasive heart valve surgery. When using a minimally invasive approach, UT Southwestern’s heart valve experts use small incisions (about 2 inches) between the ribs to get to the heart. The result is faster recovery and less pain. Instead of a six-week recovery, our patients generally need about 10 days to recover from surgery when performed using minimally invasive techniques.
For high-risk patients with aortic valve problems – those who are at an advanced age or have had prior heart surgery, for example – we offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). A recently developed alternative to open-heart surgery, TAVR is performed by inserting a catheter through the groin to make the aortic valve repair.
Patients with mitral regurgitation who are too old or sick for open surgery may be treated with the MitraClip. Going through the skin (percutaneous), we clip together the two leaflets of the mitral valve to stop the leaking.
February 15, 2023
February 24, 2022
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Results: 2 Locations