​Heart Valve Disease Treatment Options

At The Christ Hospital Health Network, the heart valve disease experts at our Center of Excellence offer the latest newest, most advanced treatments not available at many hospitals in the region. We offer leading-edge surgical and minimally invasive heart valve disease treatments, including a surgical procedure not offered at nearby facilities, and minimally invasive procedures that shorten recovery time.

We have developed one of the fastest-growing heart valve programs in the country—improving the lives of nearly 500 patients who were not candidates for open-heart surgery.  

Heart valve disease diagnosis 

Our heart valve disease experts use the most advanced diagnostic practices to detect heart valve disease. Your physician will perform a physical exam and, if he or she suspects heart valve disease, can diagnose the condition using one or more of the following methods: 

  • Cardiac catheterization—A minimally invasive test where a thin tube called a catheter is inserted through a vein in your leg or groin, and guided to your heart to diagnosis heart valve disease.

  • Chest X-ray—An imaging test that takes a picture of your chest to identify potential heart valve problems.

  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan—An imaging test that produces detailed images of your heart to detect valve problems.

  • Echocardiogram—A noninvasive test that uses ultrasound technology to produce images of your heart.

  • Electrocardiogram—A noninvasive test that records the electrical activity of your heart.

  • Exercise test—A test where you walk or jog on a treadmill while your doctor checks your heart's function.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—An imaging test that uses radio waves, a magnetic field and a computer to produce images of your heart.

Heart valve disease treatments

Initially, lifestyle changes and medications can help manage heart valve disease, but eventually, the failing valve will need to be repaired or replaced. Fortunately, there are many treatments available at The Christ Hospital to improve the quality of life in our patients.

Our treatments include a wide variety of minimally invasive surgeries for even the most complex valve disease, including high-risk patients and patients requiring a second operation. At The Christ Hospital, our patients with an isolated aortic, mitral or tricuspid valve problem have about an 85 percent chance of having a minimally invasive procedure.

Aortic valve disease surgery

We're always seeking new and innovative approaches to aortic valve repair. We offer treatments for both aortic stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

In 2011, The Christ Hospital was the first to bring this minimally invasive treatment to our region. In the past, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was reserved for high surgical risk patients. However, we were one of the first centers in the country, and first in the region, to offer TAVR to patients with high, intermediate and low surgical risks. With more than 400 procedures performed for symptomatic aortic stenosis, our expertise can mean a better outcome for you.

TAVR for aortic stenosis allows physicians to use a catheter-based system to deliver a new heart valve through an artery in the upper thigh. The new valve's precise placement within the diseased valve provides increases blood flow almost immediately. 

TAVR has numerous benefits including:

  • Shorter recoveries and fewer complications

  • A lifesaving option for patients who cannot undergo open-heart surgery

  • Renewed energy and improved quality of life for most patients

J-Valve & JenaValve

At The Christ Hospital, we offer a multitude of advanced life-saving treatments and medical devices—many of which our physicians have helped to pioneer. We were the first center in the country to implant the J-Valve and one of the first to implant the JenaValve, both of which are designed to repair leaky aortic valves that are not severely stenotic. Both of these TAVR valves are currently in trials for FDA approval. Additionally, we are the only center in the country to offer both treatments and the only center in our region with an American College of Cardiology approved TAVR center.

Valve-sparing aortic root replacement

We're the only hospital in the region to offer two approaches to this complex surgery. A valve-sparing aortic root replacement repairs aneurysms (an enlarged artery) at the first part of the aorta without replacing the aortic valve. It may also an option for patients with regurgitation.

Traditional surgery for aortic root aneurysms requires replacing the aortic valve. Today, it's possible to save an operating valve, which is ideal and can mean you do not need blood thinning medicines. Few surgeons attempt this highly-specialized procedure. At The Christ Hospital, two surgeons offer this expertise, right here in Greater Cincinnati.

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Mitral valve disease surgery

For symptomatic patients diagnosed with moderate-severe or severe mitral regurgitation, surgery is generally recommended to repair or replace the mitral valve. This typically involves open-heart surgery with the patient on cardiopulmonary bypass. Our heart surgeons perform highly skilled, minimally invasive mitral valve surgeries, with a focus on repair. 

Minimally invasive mitral valve repair

Our heart surgeons have expertise in the full range of minimally invasive approaches for mitral valve repair, enabling us to offer individualized treatment for each patient.

Procedures include:

  • Transcatheter mitral valve repair—The MitraClip procedure is a minimally invasive catheter-based therapy. Your doctor will insert a thin tube called a catheter through a vein in your leg. Using real-time imaging, he or she will guide the tube to your heart to administer treatment, thereby avoiding open-heart surgery. This treatment increases the options for patients with significant, sympto​matic, degenerative mitral regurgitation who are not candidates for surgery.

  • LVAD—Patients with severe valve disease and heart failure may benefit from a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted to help a failing heart pump more effectively.

Benefits of minimally invasive mitral valve disease treatment typically include:

  • A shorter recovery with fewer complications

  • A lifesaving option for patients who cannot undergo open-heart surgery

  • A renewed energy and improved quality of life for most patients

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR)

In 2018, a heart surgeon at The Christ Hospital became the first in the Tristate region to perform a transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR). As part of our participation in the APOLLO clinical trial, we bring this leading-edge minimally invasive technique to patients with severe mitral valve disease.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair involves a small, 2.5-inch incision in the left chest. The result is an easier recovery than with open-heart surgery. This procedure gives new hope to patients considered high risk for surgery or are not candidates for mitral valve repair. 

Pulmonary valve disease treatment

For pulmonary valve disease patients without symptoms, intervention may not be necessary. For those who do have symptoms, we can treat the condition with:  

  • Medications to address poor blood flow, blood clots, abnormal heartbeat or fluid buildup

  • A surgical procedure called valvuloplasty, which can stretch and enlarge the walls of the valve to increase blood flow

  • Valve replacement surgery in severe cases

Tricuspid valve disease treatment

Depending on the severity of disease, we can treat tricuspid valve disease with:

  • Medications that manage symptoms, such as heart failure or arrhythmia drugs

  • Transcatheter tricuspid intervention if a patient has a prosthetic tricuspid valve already in place

  • Tricuspid valve repair surgery for patients with severe, symptomatic tricuspid regurgitation

  • Combined tricuspid and mitral repair

To learn more about heart valve disease treatment at The Christ Hospital, please call 513-206-1222, or to get a second opinion regarding surgery, call 513-206-1170​.