Structural Heart & Valve Care

 

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High Performing Hospital US New & World Report 2020-2021 Aortic Valve Surgery

If you have heart valve disease, one or more of your four heart valves does not work as it should. Your heart works extra hard, and the faulty valve hinders blood flow to the rest of your body. As a result, you may feel chronically tired or weak.

Procedures from valve repair to valve replacement offer hope for heart valve disorders. MUSC Health has the state’s most experienced team of cardiac doctors who can offer the widest array of options, from transcatheter approaches, to minimally invasive or robotically assisted surgery, to traditional open heart procedures. We focus on what is best for each individual and tailor your treatment to you.

Why Choose MUSC Health for Heart Valve Care?

At MUSC Health’s Structural Heart & Valve Center, you have access to the most innovative heart valve repair and replacement options available. You can trust our:

  • Depth of experience: MUSC Health is South Carolina’s only academic medical institution. Our education program comes with a commitment to knowing and teaching the latest techniques. Our doctors are the most experienced in the state in performing revolutionary procedures to treat heart valve disease. Meet our team.
  • Exclusive treatment options: We were the state’s first center offering the MitraClip® device for mitral regurgitation (when blood flows backward through the mitral valve). From clinical trials and years of clinical use, our doctors have extensive experience with this device. We also lead the state in transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) for stiffened heart valves (aortic stenosis).
  • Minimally invasive procedures: When possible, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to repair or replace heart valves. For you, this approach results in a smaller incision, less pain, reduced risk of infection and a faster recovery.
  • Prompt, personalized attention: Our large team of heart valve specialists can usually see new patients quickly. We aim to schedule all your testing in one day and one trip to Charleston, if possible. Our nurse coordinators guide you through the diagnostic and treatment process and keep your referring doctor in the loop about your care.
  • Advanced technology: Our doctors work together seamlessly to perform catheter and surgical procedures in our two state-of-the-art hybrid operating rooms.
  • Convenient follow-up care: Following treatment, our cardiac rehab program can help strengthen your heart. We work with your referring physician to keep your post-treatment recovery on track. For added convenience, you can receive follow-up care at one of our regional clinic locations or through the MUSC Health Center for Telehealth.

Heart Valve Treatments

MUSC Health’s Structural Heart & Valve Center offers more treatment options for heart valve disease than any other center in South Carolina. Our doctors have decades of experience resolving faulty heart valve problems.

In addition to traditional open-heart surgery to repair or replace faulty heart valves, we offer:

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Heart Valve Disease

When possible, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to fix failing heart valves. Minimally invasive procedures mean doctors do not have to open your chest as with traditional open heart procedures. For you, this approach often means less risk of infection, reduced pain and a faster recovery. MUSC Health is the only center in the state with the expertise to perform minimally invasive robotic heart surgery.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Our heart valve specialists are the state’s leading experts in TAVR. We were the first in South Carolina to use this minimally invasive procedure to replace aortic valves in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis. This condition causes the aortic valve to calcify and stiffen.

We perform transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for many different conditions. Our team offers a variety of approaches, including some that are not offered elsewhere.

About TAVR:

  • The conventional treatment for aortic stenosis involves opening the chest to repair or replace the failing aortic valve.
  • With TAVR, our heart valve specialists place a balloon-expandable or self-expanding replacement valve into your heart via a catheter (tiny tube) inserted through a blood vessel in your groin.
  • Benefits of TAVR include less risk of infection, reduced pain and a faster recovery.

MitraClip®

MUSC Health is South Carolina’s most experienced medical center offering a first-of-its-kind device called the MitraClip® to treat people who have severe mitral regurgitation. Our surgical team played an integral part in the original clinical studies that led to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the MitraClip in 2014. We have been involved in studies using MitraClip for new mitral valve treatments.

Mitral regurgitation occurs when leaky mitral valve leaflets allow blood to flow backward into the heart’s left atrium, causing your heart to work harder. Left untreated, people with mitral regurgitation have a greater risk of developing heart arrhythmia or heart failure in the future.

Our heart valve specialists insert a catheter into a blood vessel in your groin. They feed the MitraClip through the catheter and place it directly onto your mitral valve. The small, clip-like device helps close the leaky mitral valve leaflets.

Robotic Mitral Valve Repair

The Structural Heart & Valve Center has the state’s only cardiothoracic (heart and chest) surgeon who performs robot-assisted surgical procedures. Robotic mitral valve repair is the least invasive surgical option for people who have mitral regurgitation (a leaking mitral valve).

For robotic mitral valve repair, your surgeon makes a series of half-inch incisions between the ribs on the side of the chest. They place a high-powered scope inside the heart to obtain detailed images of your mitral valve. This view allows for more precise and successful repairs using advanced tools attached to the robot’s arms.

Other Transcatheter Valve Replacement

In addition to TAVR and MitraClip, our heart surgeons offer transcatheter mitral valve and transcatheter pulmonic valve replacement. Like the other minimally invasive procedures we offer, these treatments deliver a new heart valve without open surgery.

Paravalvular Leak Closure and Cardiac Septal Defect Repair

Some people are born with a cardiac septal defect (a hole in the heart). The condition causes symptoms like a heart murmur (a whooshing sound heard through a stethoscope), shortness of breath or edema (swelling) in the legs, feet or belly. Others develop similar symptoms when a hole develops around a previous surgical valve.

Whatever the cause of heart leakage, surgeons at the MUSC Structural Heart & Valve Center can help. Our surgeons frequently repair cardiac septal defects and perform paravalvular leak closure (repairing leaks around a prior surgical valve). Few surgeons in the area offer these services. Learn more about how we treat congenital heart disease.