Your path to recovery starts here
We know heart valve disease and adult congenital defects can seriously reduce your quality of life. Our team of experts at The Structural Heart Center treats a full range of valve and other structural heart conditions and specialize in structural and functional heart abnormalities. From diagnosis to treatment, our heart specialists are here to help your heart beat stronger.
Maimonides is the first hospital in Brooklyn to perform the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure for patients with severe aortic stenosis
Aortic valve conditions
Aortic valve stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis is a severe and progressive condition in which the opening (orifice) of the valve gets more and more narrow. It can be caused by a birth defect, or it can be related to the aging process. Aortic valve stenosis can cause a severe limitation in the amount of blood that can get pumped out of the heart. As a result, pressure builds in the left ventricle, weakening the heart muscle and leading to heart failure. Aortic valve stenosis symptoms may include fainting, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Aortic valve regurgitation
Aortic valve regurgitation is also called aortic valve insufficiency. This condition occurs when the aortic valve doesn’t close properly, causing blood to flow back into the heart, requiring the heart to work harder. Over time, the condition causes the heart to stretch and enlarge and can lead to heart failure.
Medication may be used to treat aortic valve conditions. However, a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or aortic valve surgery may be required. Your doctor will help you understand which treatment option is best for you.
Mitral valve conditions
Mitral valve regurgitation
Mitral valve regurgitation is a condition that affects the left-sided chambers of the heart. The mitral valve that controls blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle does not close properly and can be caused by a prolapse or bulge. This causes regurgitation, and blood leaks backward into the left atrium. The heart must work harder to pump this extra blood, increasing the risk for heart failure and an irregular heartbeat.
Mitral valve stenosis
Mitral stenosis is a condition where the leaflets stiffen, preventing the valve from opening completely and properly, which blocks the blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle, and can reduce the amount of blood that flows forward to the body. This condition tends to develop slowly over time; symptoms may take decades to become noticeable.
Medication may be an effective mitral valve regurgitation treatment. However, surgery may be required. Patients that are too high risk for heart surgery may be a candidate for a percutaneous mitral clip procedure.
Mitral valve repair surgery
When the mitral valve is severely damaged and requires surgery, the most important decision for patients and physicians is whether to repair or replace the valve. In the past, it was standard practice to replace the mitral valve with a mechanical or natural tissue valve.
Currently, the preferred option fro m patients is to repair the mitral valve, which allows the patient to keep their own valve and have it surgically reshaped, restoring the valve’s normal function. Since blood clots rarely occur after mitral valve repair, patients who undergo this surgical option do not need to take blood thinners.
Percutaneous mitral valve repair
If you have mitral valve regurgitation but aren’t healthy enough for mitral valve surgery, you may be a candidate for an innovative technique to repair the valve using a metal clip, known as the MitraClip®.
To repair the mitral valve, a device is attached to a catheter and is inserted into the heart through a small incision in the groin area and is used to clip the leaflets of the mitral valve together. Once implanted, the device allows the heart to pump blood more efficiently, thereby relieving symptoms and improving patient quality of life.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
What is PFO?
Before birth, a baby’s heart has an opening in the form of a tissue flap between the 2 upper chambers. This opening is referred to as the foramen ovale and allows blood containing oxygen from the mother to bypass the baby’s lungs, which are not yet fully developed. When the baby is born, this tissue flap usually closes and is completely sealed within 3 months of birth. When the foramen ovale remains open, it is called a PFO. In rare cases, this PFO can allow a blood clot to pass from the right side of your heart to the left side of your heart and then travel to the brain where it can cause a stroke.
Treatment includes the PFO surgery technique, designed to stop blood flow through the PFO, thereby preventing a stroke.
Treating structural heart conditions
We are the only center in Brooklyn performing the percutaneous mitral clip procedure in patients with significant mitral regurgitation (often caused by mitral valve prolapse) who are at prohibitive risk for open-heart mitral valve surgery. This procedure reduces the severity of mitral valve regurgitation and improves quality of life outcomes.
In addition, Maimonides is the only hospital with over 7 years of experience performing percutaneous PFO and atrial septal defect (ASD) closures. This procedure is offered as part of our Stroke Prevention Program, in collaboration with the neurology team.
Minimally invasive surgery
Minimally invasive heart surgery is an approach that allows your cardiac surgeon to perform procedures on the heart through small incisions between the ribs or upper breastbone.
Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
- Improved healing time
- Less pain and scarring
- Lower risk of wound infection
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Reduced blood loss and fewer transfusions
TAVR is an innovative approach to aortic valve replacement. TAVR heart surgery has recently been approved for both high risk and intermediate-risk patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis.
PFO closure treatment options
The Amplatzer™ PFO Occluder is a device that can be placed in your heart to close the opening using a minimally invasive, catheter-based PFO surgery technique. It’s designed to stop blood flow through the PFO, thereby preventing a stroke.
Tailored treatment options for your heart
Very often, medication is used for treatment, especially for people with high blood pressure or a weakened heart muscle. If you are not experiencing symptoms, your doctor may recommend routine follow-up evaluations to manage your heart condition.
Our Structural Heart team meets on a weekly basis to review the best treatment plan for every patient. Your doctor will help you understand your treatment options and will help you get on the path to recovery by developing a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle and unique needs.