What Are Heart Valve Problems?
Heart valve problems are more common than you might think, and they can be serious. They do not discriminate, affecting many adults and children, as well. Also, some heart valve problems don't have symptoms. Fortunately, the right diagnosis and the right treatment can help you fully recover and get back to your life.
The most common heart valve problems are aortic stenosis (a condition in which the aortic valve in your heart fails to open properly) and mitral valve prolapse (a problem in which the valve separating the chambers on the left side of your heart fails to open properly). If these conditions go untreated, they can lead to long-term heart problems, including heart failure. At Banner Health, our heart specialists are here and ready to diagnose any problems with your heart valves and work with you on the best treatment option for your condition.
Can I Avoid Open-Heart Surgery?
It depends on your condition. Open-heart surgery can be lifesaving, but it requires surgeons to cut through your breastbone. This means a long recovery. Our heart specialists explore less invasive procedures to see if you qualify for an alternative that can be just as effective to treat your valve problem.
How Is a Mitral Valve Problem Repaired?
If medicine to treat your mitral valve prolapse no longer helps, you may need surgery. Using robotic surgical techniques, our heart surgeons can provide minimally invasive, closed-chest mitral valve repair. This less-invasive approach means less risk of infection, less pain after surgery and a shorter hospital stay.
Can I Get a New, Artificial Heart Valve?
Banner Health was among the first in the nation to offer the Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve. This artificial heart valve is the first that can be placed without open-heart surgery. The Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve is put in place using transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
Using this method, surgeons restore the valve to its correct function by going into your artery through your groin. TAVR not only is a minimally invasive procedure, but it also improves your blood circulation. Depending on what your doctor recommends, TAVR may help you feel better and get back to a more active lifestyle faster than you would after open-heart surgery.