While the experienced cardiothoracic surgeons at Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Heart & Vascular Center can expertly perform both valve repairs and replacement, the goal of this team is to repair every valve possible
Mitral valve repair is surgically more complex than replacement, but it allows patients to avoid blood thinners and the complications of prosthetic valves. When repair is not an option because a patient is too sick or too frail for surgery, an investigational replacement technique may be an option. Our cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists have created groundbreaking results using percutaneous aortic valve replacement, which is a catheter-based technique to place a new valve over a defective one in severe aortic stenosis cases.
Mitral Valve Repair
Nearly every mitral valve prolapse patient is a candidate for mitral valve repair
. The long-term outcomes and patient quality of life after valve repair is far superior to surgical valve replacement. While mitral stenosis often still requires valve replacement, mitral regurgitation usually can be repaired. The better short- and long-term results with valve repair have begun to change the indications for surgical intervention.
Minimally-invasive Aortic Valve Replacement
In patients with an obstructed aortic valve (aortic stenosis), interventional cardiologists working together with cardiac surgeons have been able to place a new valve over the defective one using a minimally invasive approach. This is done percutaneously through a small incision in the leg or a small incision in the chest. Specialized catheter tubing is threaded through blood vessels into the heart, where a replacement valve is deployed over the diseased aortic valve.
The results of percutaneous aortic valve repair have been groundbreaking and have resulted in submission to the FDA for approval. With the percutaneous approach, patients experience less pain and scarring and typically require less recovery time.
The cardiac surgeons at the Heart & Vascular Center have extensive experience in valve repair and replacement: they have a high skill level, which results in excellent clinical outcomes and mortality rates that are consistently below the national average. They see more than 1,200 patients each year, performing nearly 1,000 surgeries on valves and coronary arteries.
To make an appointment with a Washington University heart or vascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call