Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure for patients with a narrowing aortic valve (aortic stenosis) that replaces the diseased valve. TAVR is an option for patients who are considered too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery.
Valvular heart disease treatment in Northwest Florida
Heart valve diseases require specialized care from a team of specialists.
That's why the Northwest Florida Heart Institute at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital is proud to offer the Structural Heart Program. This program uses a multidisciplinary team approach to treat heart valve disease and increase positive outcomes for our patients. We offer open-heart surgical options as well as minimally invasive heart procedures.
Our structural heart care program
Working together, our surgeons and structural heart care team are dedicated to restoring your cardiovascular health.
Heart valve conditions we treat
Our program focuses on treating heart valve conditions affecting the left side of the heart, where valve disease is most common. This means we offer advanced care for people with valve disease of the aortic valves. Our specialists create personalized treatment plans, ensuring each patient receives the type of care that is right for them.
If you'd like more information about our Structural Heart Program, please call (850) 862-3194.
Aortic valve regurgitation
Regurgitation occurs when either the aortic valve does not close properly, allowing blood to leak through the valve when it should not. For example, picture a door frame. If the door frame becomes stretched, the door is unable to close and will swing through the frame.
If the aortic valve becomes stretched or misshapen, it is unable to close correctly.
Aortic valve regurgitation may be caused by a congenital abnormality of the valve, an aortic aneurysm, degeneration of the valve or an infection.
Aortic valve stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis occurs when there is an abnormal narrowing of the valve that does not allow enough blood to flow through the valve. This subsequently means that there is not proper blood supply to the lungs and rest of the body.
Aortic valve stenosis causes may include progressive wear and tear of a bicuspid or aortic valve and scarring of the aortic valve due to rheumatic fever as a child or young adult.
Treatment options for heart valve disease
Treatment for heart valve disease differs from patient to patient and depends on the severity of a patient's symptoms and how well their heart functions. For some patients, this may mean medication management and close observation by a physician. However, sometimes heart surgery is needed to repair or replace a valve.
For patients with aortic regurgitation and aortic stenosis, valve replacement may be needed. Mechanical and tissue valves are available for patients undergoing a valve replacement. Our surgeons discuss what options are available with each patient.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery
Not all patients with severe aortic stenosis are candidates for open-heart surgery to replace a damaged aortic valve. For these patients, TAVR may be an option. TAVR is a minimally invasive heart procedure that allows a new valve to be placed without needing to remove the old, damaged valve.
The minimally invasive nature of this operation allows for a quicker recovery time compared to open-heart surgery.
Our structural heart care team
Our program brings together healthcare professionals involved in every area of cardiac care to treat disease of the heart valves, including:
- Cardiovascular surgeons
- Diagnostic technicians
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program coordinator
Understanding heart valve disease
The heart's function is dependent upon its four valves: mitral valve, aortic valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve.
Symptoms of heart valve disease
When functioning properly, the heart's valves are responsible for facilitating blood flow and delivering oxygen throughout the body. When a valve does not function properly, you may notice symptoms.
If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you should be evaluated for heart valve disease:
- Chest pain and pressure, often described as a feeling of squeezing or heaviness
- Fainting, dizziness and lightheadedness
- Heart murmur heard by a physician
- Shortness of breath or breathing too hard
- Swelling of the legs
Johnny Ward — TAVR patient
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