Transcatheter Heart Valve and Mitral Valve in Valve Replacement

Transcatheter Heart Valve and Mitral Valve in Valve Replacement

Specialized Team Approach

The highly specialized cardiovascular team practicing at Good Samaritan Hospital now offers the Transcatheter Heart Valve and Mitral Valve in Valve Replacement for patients with a failing surgical bioprosthetic heart valve.

The Heart Valves

The heart is a muscular organ in the chest that is about the size of a fist.

The heart’s main function is to pump blood to the rest of the body. Each valve usually has two or three leaflets (flaps of tissue) that open and close like gates to regulate the one-way flow of blood through the heart.

It is important that heart valves are always working properly:

  • Be properly formed and flexible
  • Open all the way so that the right amount of blood can pass through
  • Close tightly so that no blood leaks back into the chamber

There are two problems that can occur in heart valves:

Stenosis: when the valve narrows and does not open completely
Regurgitation: when the valve does not close completely and blood leaks backwards

Who is a Good Candidate for Transcatheter Heart Valve Replacement?

Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valve of their hearts. Approximately 250,000 of these patients suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, often developing debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs. These patients can often benefit from surgery to replace their ailing valve, but only approximately two-thirds of them undergo the procedure each year. Many patients are not treated because they are deemed inoperable for surgery, have not received a definitive diagnosis, or because they delay or decline the procedure for a variety of reasons.

Mitral Regurgitation
Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency affecting nearly one in ten people aged 75 years and older – approximately four million people in the United States alone. MR is a progressive and life threatening condition that occurs with the leaflets of the mitral valve do not close completely, causing blood to flow backwards and leak into the left atrium of the heart during the cardiac cycle. To maintain an adequate forward flow of blood through the body, the heart compensates by increasing the size of the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart. This requires the heart to work harder, and may raise the risk of irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure.

Why Surgical Bioprosthetic Heart Valve be Failing?
When the heart valve is replaced with a surgical bioprosthetic heart valve, over time it may develop stenosis or regurgitation.

With either problem, the heart needs to work harder and may not pump enough blood to the body. In elderly patients, failing surgical bioprosthetic heart valves are sometimes caused by the buildup of calcium (mineral deposits) on the valve’s leaflets.

Eventually, the heart gets weaker. This increases the risk of heart failure (when the heart cannot keep up with its workload). Stenosis or regurgitation of the surgical bioprosthetic heart valve can be a very serious problem.

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