The Heart Valve Center at Danbury Hospital unites a multidisciplinary team of Interventional Cardiologists, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, Radiologists, and Echocardiographers trained in diagnosing and treating disorders of heart valves. The Valve Center is located in one convenient site, where a patient can meet with the various members of the heart valve team during the same visit. After the initial clinic evaluation and diagnostic tests - which may include echocardiography, Cardiac Catheterization, and CT Scan - each patient's case is discussed by the team and an individual treatment plan is made in collaboration with the patient's referring physician.
One of the most common disorders of heart valves is aortic stenosis, which can occur when calcium deposits form which stiffen and narrow the valve. The condition can be progressive, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and death.
A New, Less Invasive Valve Replacement Option
The standard treatment for Calcific Aortic Stenosis is replacement of the valve with open heart surgery - an option not available to patients who are considered high risk or are inoperable. Patients not eligible for the traditional valve replacement surgery may now be considered for a ground-breaking procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). A number of factors are considered in determining if a patient should undergo TAVR, including other existing health conditions.
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces the narrowed aortic valve with a synthetic valve inserted into the body through a small incision in the upper leg, or in the chest. The synthetic valve device is made from cow tissue and polyester supported by a steel frame.
The Edwards SAPIEN valve and the Medtronic CoreValve are both approved for use by the Heart Valve Team at Danbury Hospital. The Heart Valve Team works with each patient individually during pre-procedure planning to determine the most appropriate valve to use in each case.
The TAVR procedure is performed under general anesthesia, but does not require open heart surgery or the use of a heart-lung machine. The post-procedure recovery period is typically a few days. Danbury Hospital has been performing TAVR procedures since October 2013 and is one of four hospitals in Connecticut performing such procedures.
For more information or to make a referral to the Heart Valve Center, call 855-743-2781.