The first of its kind in northern Colorado, the UCHealth Structural Heart and Valve Clinic at Medical Center of the Rockies is a multispecialty, multidisciplinary clinic designed to assess, diagnose and treat patients with complex valve disease.
At the Structural Heart and Valve Clinic at MCR, UCHealth cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work side-by-side in one clinic location, sharing information as they collaborate to determine the best course of care for patients with valvular disease.
Our program features a clinically-trained and dedicated coordinator who guides you through your care, ensuring continuity, clear communications and comprehensive follow-up.
At our state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient cardiac facilities, the Structural Heart and Valve Clinic offers innovative advancements in catheter- and surgical-based valve interventions. Thanks to these innovations and UCHealth Heart Center clinical expertise, patients throughout the region have access to life-changing procedures, enhancing quality of life. Read on to learn more about these advancements.
For more information about the care we provide through the Structural Heart and Valve Clinic, please contact our clinical coordinator:
First in the region
UCHealth Heart Center in northern Colorado was one of the first heart programs in the Rocky Mountain region to perform transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The UCHealth heart program is the first in the state to offer the latest in device technology with the MitraClip® and the WATCHMAN™ Device. These minimally invasive procedures benefit patients who are often the most ill, greatly improving your quality of life.
WATCHMAN™ Left Atrial Appendage Closure Device
Now non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) patients have an alternative to long-term warfarin therapy. The WATCHMAN Device reduces the risk of stroke for NVAF patients. UCHealth is the first system in the state to offer this new technology. Six weeks after the procedure, more than 95 percent of patients are able to stop their warfarin therapy. This one-time implant will not need to be replaced.
Patients who have been diagnosed with heart failure may have degenerative mitral valve regurgitation. MitraClip is a new device designed to minimize degenerative mitral valve regurgitation through minimally invasive surgery, improving the way patients feel without open heart surgery. This technology is currently designed for those who are too ill for traditional surgery.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a cutting-edge, minimally-invasive procedure that replaces damaged aortic valves in patients who are too sick for open-heart surgery.
Our heart experts have performed more than 200 TAVR procedures. We use a minimalist approach which allows you to be awake with conscious sedation during the procedure and allows you to go home with a new valve the next day without feeling the effects of volatile anesthesia. The minimalist approach is even less invasive than the traditional TAVR procedure.
The team at MCR is one of three training centers in the United States teaching other physicians how to safely and successfully implement a minimalist TAVR program.
We also perform a high volume of surgical aortic valve replacements for those who don’t qualify for TAVR. Currently only those patients who are at high risk can benefit from a TAVR procedure. In the near future, indications for intermediate risk patients will change, and with the evaluation of low risk patients in clinical trials, we are able to offer the potential of TAVR to most patients with aortic stenosis.
While there are some surgical components to the procedure, they are minimal and less invasive than open-heart surgery, thereby reducing the recovery time required.
Experienced, collaborative care
The Structural Heart and Valve Clinic at MCR has formed the most experienced and comprehensive valve clinic team in northern Colorado, eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska. We perform four times as many cardiac surgeries as any hospital in northern Colorado and lead the region in completed valve replacements (source: Colorado Hospital Association).
Treatment for complex cases includes a review by our team of valve disease experts, the Valve Board, who examine treatment plans to ensure quality care. Focused on quality, cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons work side-by-side in one location, sharing information as they collaborate to determine the best course of care for patients with valvular disease.