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, it means one or more of your four heart valves does not work as it should. A faulty heart valve makes your heart work harder and hinders blood flow to the rest of your body. As a result, you may feel chronically tired or weak.

MUSC Health is proud to have earned U.S. News & World Report 2018 to 2019 high-performing hospital designation in Heart Bypass Surgery.

Heart Valve Care at the MUSC Health Heart & Vascular Center: Why Choose Us?

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

When you come to the Structural Heart & Valve Center, you benefit from:

  • Depth of Experience: Thanks to our standing as South Carolina’s only academic medical institution, 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 are the state’s first and only center offering the MitraClip® device for mitral regurgitation. Through clinical trials, our doctors have years of experience with this device. We also lead the state in transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR). Learn more about our heart valve treatments.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: When possible, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to implant the newest generation of heart valves. For you, this approach results in a smaller incision, less pain, reduced risk of infection and a faster recovery.
  • Prompt, Personalized Attention: With a team of almost a dozen heart valve specialists, we see new patients quickly. Our nurse coordinators guide you through the diagnostic and treatment process and ensure your referring doctor is always in the loop regarding your care.
  • Advanced Technology: Our doctors work together seamlessly to perform both catheter and surgical procedures in our state-of-the-art, dedicated hybrid operating room.
  • Convenient Follow-Up Care: Following treatment, our cardiac rehab program can help strengthen your heart. We work with your referring physician to ensure your post-treatment recovery stays on track. For added convenience, you can receive follow-up care at one of our regional clinic locations.

Heart Valve Treatments

At MUSC Health’s Structural Heart & Valve Center, we offer more treatment options for heart valve disease than any other center in the state. Our doctors have decades of experience resolving faulty heart valve problems.

Minimally Invasive Treatments for Heart Valve Disease

When possible, our doctors use minimally invasive techniques to fix failing heart valves. For you, this approach often means less pain and a faster recovery.

In addition to traditional open heart surgical procedures to repair or replace faulty heart valves, we also offer these minimally invasive catheter-based treatment options:

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.

TAVR usually is reserved for people who cannot undergo open heart surgery due to advanced age or health issues, such as diabetes or lung disease. Thanks to our commitment to national clinical trials, MUSC Health is the only South Carolina hospital offering TAVR to low- to moderate-risk patients.

About TAVR: 

  • The traditional 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 inserted into a blood vessel in your groin.
  • This catheter-based procedure is minimally invasive, meaning doctors do not have to open your chest or place you on a heart-lung bypass machine. There also is no need to remove the damaged valve.
  • Benefits of TAVR include less risk of infection, reduced pain, and a faster recovery.


MUSC Health is South Carolina’s only medical center offering a first-of-its-kind device called the MitraClip® to treat patients who have severe mitral regurgitation. For five years, our team played an integral part in MitraClip clinical trials before it received FDA approval in 2014.

Mitral regurgitation occurs when leaky mitral valve leaflets allow blood to flow backward into the heart’s left atrium. This causes your heart to work harder.

About MitraClip:

  • The traditional treatment for mitral regurgitation involves opening the chest to repair or replace the faulty mitral valve.
  • With MitraClip, our heart valve specialists use a catheter inserted into a blood vessel in your groin to place the MitraClip, a small clip-like device, directly onto your mitral valve. The device helps to close the leaky mitral valve leaflets.
  • The MitraClip procedure is minimally invasive, meaning doctors do not have to open your chest or place you on a heart-lung bypass machine.
  • Benefits of the MitraClip procedure include less risk of infection, reduced pain and a faster recovery.

Robotic Mitral Valve Repair

The Structural Heart & Valve Center has the state’s only cardiothoracic surgeon who performs robotically assisted surgical procedures. Dr. Marc R. Katz performed the nation’s first robotically assisted, FDA-approved thoracic surgical procedure. At MUSC Health Heart & Vascular Center, he continues to pioneer new techniques for robotic technology.

Robotic mitral valve repair is the most minimally invasive surgical option for patients who have mitral regurgitation, or a leaking mitral valve. Leaky mitral valves don’t close properly, which allows blood to move backward through the valve. Left untreated, people with mitral regurgitation have a greater risk of developing heart arrhythmia or heart failure in the future.

About robotic mitral valve repair:

  • Our heart valve expert accesses the mitral valve through a series of small ½-inch incisions between the ribs on the side of the chest.
  • A high-powered scope inside the heart provides superior visualization of the mitral valve. This view allows for more precise and successful repairs.
  • Traditional open heart mitral valve repair surgery requires a 12-inch incision and splitting the breast bone. Patients remain in the hospital for an average of 7 days and must limit activities for 3 months. People who undergo robotic mitral valve surgery often go home in 2 days and return to normal activities faster, usually within 1 to 2 weeks. In addition, there are no driving or lifting restrictions.
  • Other benefits of robotically assisted heart surgery include less risk of infection and decreased pain and scarring.