The Heart Valve Center at UT Medical Center offers comprehensive medical treatments for heart valve disease. Treatments vary, and sometimes require surgery. Heart valve surgery repairs or replaces nonfunctional or damaged heart valves. Heart valve surgery is also called valve replacement; valve repair; or heart valve prosthesis.

The Heart Valve Center at UT Medical Center offers the following treatment options:

  • Medical treatments
  • Open valve surgery
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery
  • Valvuloplasty
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

If your heart valve is too damaged to repair, you may valve replacement surgery, where a surgeon removes your old valve and puts a new one in its place. There are two main types of heart valve replacements available:

  • Mechanical–  Valve is made of man-made materials, such as cloth, metal (stainless steel or titanium), or ceramic. These valves last the longest, but you will need to take blood-thinning medicine, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, for the rest of your life.
  • Biological – Valve is made of human or animal tissue. These valves last 12 – 15 years, but your doctor may prescribe medications.

Other heart valve problems treated with minimally invasive surgery are:

  • Aortic insufficiency
  • Mitral regurgitation – acute
  • Mitral regurgitation – chronic
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Tricuspid regurgitation

When Do You Need Heart Valve Surgery?

Our team of specialists at The Heart Valve Center review cases on an individual basis and recommend a specialized treatment plan. There are various reasons our surgeons recommend heart valve surgery, some of these reasons may include:

  • Changes in your heart valve are causing major heart symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting spells, or heart failure.
  • Tests show that the changes in your heart valve are beginning to seriously affect your heart function.
  • Your doctor wants to replace or repair your heart valve at the same time as you are having open heart surgery for another reason.
  • Your heart valve has been damaged by infection of the heart valve.
  • You have received a new heart valve in the past, and it is not working well, or you have other problems such as blood clots, infection, or bleeding.

Diagnosis of Heart Valve Disease

At the Heart Valve Center at UT Medical Center, we offer an array of diagnostic services that will be used in the evaluation process. We understand that every individual is different and heart disease is complex. That’s why we have multiple ways of determining the proper diagnosis, whether it is heart valve disease, valvular heart disease, aortic heart disease, or other conditions, you’re in the right place.

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Echocardiography
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Carotid Imaging
  • Transthoracic Echocardiography
  • Transesophageal Echo
  • Thoracic CT scan
  • Abdominal CT scan
  • Heart CT scan
  • Pelvic CT scan
  • Chest CT scan
  • X-ray
  • EKG

Talk to your doctor today and see if you might be a candidate for heart valve treatment.