The Latest Heart Valve Disease Treatments Available
Four heart valves direct the flow of blood through the heart, including the aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves. If one or more valves do not open or close properly, the heart has to work harder to pump blood and can weaken over time. It can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, weakness or irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
When medicine or nonsurgical balloon valvuloplasty, an interventional cardiology procedure, do not relieve symptoms, valve surgery can restore blood flow through the heart. Surgeons repair valves whenever possible and replace those that cannot be repaired with an artificial valve, made from animal tissue (cow or pig), metal or carbon.
Hackensack Meridian Health offers the latest advancements to treat patients with heart valve disease, even those who have been told surgery is not an option. We combine the expertise of leading heart surgeons, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and other heart and vascular specialists to offer comprehensive care and innovative techniques that aren’t widely available in the region.
Our nationally acclaimed heart surgery team have the expertise to perform a variety of minimally invasive and open valve surgeries, including:
- Aortic valve repair and replacement
- Combined valve, coronary and atrial fibrillation surgery
- Complex mitral valve repair and replacement
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
- Minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgeries
- Pulmonic valve surgery
Renowned surgeons perform valve surgeries at our two academic medical centers, while patients can access a wide range of cardiac diagnostic services and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation at community hospitals throughout New Jersey. Our integrated cardiovascular care network brings services to patients where it’s most convenient, close to home.
The combination of expert surgeons, advanced technology and breadth of heart care services is what makes Hackensack Meridian Health a trusted choice for patients and families in New Jersey.
Among the Best in Aortic Valve Surgery
Hackensack Meridian Health is nationally ranked for our expertise in aortic valve surgery. Hackensack University Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center achieve high-performance ratings, the highest possible, from U.S. News & World Report.
Minimally Invasive Valve Disease Surgery at Hackensack Meridian Health
The cardiovascular teams at Hackensack Meridian Health design treatment to enhance our patients’ health, safety and comfort. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive valve surgery performed through a small incision using sophisticated imaging technology.
These innovative techniques offer patients less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery. Our state-of-the-art hybrid operating rooms give surgeons the flexibility to perform less-invasive procedures, with the ability to use open-surgery when needed.
TAVR: Life-Changing Treatment for Aortic Stenosis
When the aortic valve is stiff and does not open completely, called aortic stenosis, it causes symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and fainting. The primary treatment is valve replacement surgery.
But for older people with a weakened heart or who have other conditions such as diabetes or lung disease, open-heart surgery poses too great of a risk. Minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) offers these patients an alternative to relieve symptoms.
Using fluoroscopy, a moving X-ray, the surgeon guides a tiny, hollow tube called a catheter through a small puncture in the upper leg and into the heart. The surgeon uses highly specialized instruments to repair the valve so it opens completely. Patients are awake during the painless procedure and are given medicine to relax them.
Most patients leave the hospital within a day or two and can return to regular activities just three or four days after the procedure.
The MitraClip is a permanent implant device inserted through a blood vessel in the groin (femoral vein) to the heart, which continues to beat during the procedure and does not require the heart-lung bypass machine, which is common for open-heart surgery. The device is guided to the mitral valve where it grasps the “leaflets” to improve valve closure and reduce the backflow of blood. This allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently and relieves the symptoms of MR, which include shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, and swelling of the feet or ankles.
Hackensack University Medical Center is among the first hospitals in New Jersey to use the MitraClip®system for people with severe mitral valve regurgitation (MR).