Structural Heart and Valve Care

Personalized structural heart and valve care for valve disorders and valve disease

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Get a proper diagnosis for heart valve conditions

Our structural heart and valve care specialists use the latest procedures and technology to diagnose and treat any valve condition.

The first diagnostic test is an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. Your provider may then conduct further tests to reach a proper diagnosis.

Valves generally develop one (or both) of two distinct problems:

  • Stenosis (narrowing). The heart must work harder to force blood through a tightened valve.
  • Regurgitation (leakiness). Blood may backflow through a leaky valve.
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Our advanced catheter treatments

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

UCHealth was one of the first in the Rocky Mountain region to perform TAVR, a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure that replaces damaged aortic valves in patients who are too sick for open-heart surgery. Read more

MitraClip®

In addition, UCHealth was the first in the state to offer the latest in device technology with the MitraClip. 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. Read more

WATCHMAN™ left atrial appendage closure device

UCHealth was the first system in the state to offer this new technology. 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. Six weeks after the procedure, more than 95% of patients are able to stop their warfarin therapy. This one-time implant will not need to be replaced. Read more

Other techniques

PFO closure. A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart that didn’t close the way it should after birth. We can use a catheter to guide the placement of a PFO closure device—which becomes a permanent implant—that will close the hole in the heart wall.

ASD closure. A transcatheter treatment option for secundum atrial septal defects.

Valvuloplasty. We use a catheter to place a small balloon inside your constricted heart valve. Inflating the balloon expands the valve, restoring normal blood flow.

Other surgical approaches

Surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR)

Your cardiothoracic surgeon and structural heart and valve care team remove the narrowed valve and replace it with a mechanical valve (made of metal) or a biological valve (made of animal or human tissue).

Minimally-invasive open-heart surgery

Similar to traditional open-heart surgery, this procedure is done through a smaller incision at the breastbone.

Let us help you get healthy again

Come see us if you need a proper diagnosis and/or treatment for a valve disorder or disease. Your personalized treatment plan will include cutting-edge technology and a team approach to help you heal.

References

MedlinePlus: National Library of Medicine. Heart valve surgery (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002954.htm)

American Heart Association Journal. Standardized Definition of Structural Valve Degeneration for Surgical and Transcatheter Bioprosthetic Aortic Valves (https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/circulationaha.117.030729)