Aortic Valve Disease Treatment

Aortic Valve Stenosis, Aortic Valve Regurgitation

Duke Heart Center is a high-volume heart valve disease program, and our heart surgeons are among the nation’s top performers in aortic valve repair and aortic valve replacement. We have the skill and experience to evaluate and treat your aortic valve disease, including aortic stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation. We take on more complex cases, offer a wide range of surgical options, and provide the best possible treatment to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Ben Lee felt great after minimally invasive procedure to treat his aortic valve disease.

Full Range of Aortic Valve Disease Care

Aortic heart valve disease occurs when the aortic valve no longer allows blood to properly flow in and out of the heart. It is often caused by aging, rheumatic fever, or congenital heart defects. Aortic valve disease includes aortic stenosis, which refers to a narrowed or obstructed valve. Aortic valve disease also includes aortic valve regurgitation, during which the aortic valve no longer closes properly, and blood flow regurgitates, or flows back into the heart. Both types of aortic valve disease can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and fainting.

Our cardiologists and surgeons use a full range of therapies to treat aortic valve disease, including medicine and interventional techniques, as well as novel therapies only available through our clinical trials. The right approach depends on the severity of your condition. When surgery is needed, our skilled surgeons use their advanced training and expertise to repair or replace diseased aortic valves, often with minimally invasive techniques. Our goal is to help you feel better, faster so you can return to your normal activities.

Choose a Duke heart clinic for your aortic valve disease treatment because we offer:

  • Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center 5th in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.
  • More experience, better outcomes.  Our surgeons are among the nation’s top performers of valve disease surgery. In addition, we have more experience and better outcomes with transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedures than most medical centers in the U.S. TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery that is used to treat severe aortic stenosis in high-risk patients. We are skilled in the placement of several TAVR devices (CoreValve and Sapien) and use multiple delivery approaches (through the leg and chest). As a result, we offer treatment options to the vast majority of eligible patients.
  • Advanced diagnostic tools. We use 3-D transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to create highly detailed, close-up images of the valves, chambers and pumping action of moving heart.
  • More aortic valve repairs than replacements. When possible, our surgeons repair the aortic valve, rather than replace it. As a result, you are less likely to require blood thinners and undergo repeat procedures.
  • More minimally invasive treatments. Our surgeons are ranked among the world’s highest performers of mini-thoracotomy procedures, a minimally invasive technique that reaches and repairs the aortic valve through small incisions. The use of smaller incisions, rather than open heart surgery, reduces blood loss, scarring and the risk of infection, while speeding your recovery.
  • A choice in heart valve replacements. If you require a heart valve replacement, we offer mechanical valves made of carbon, as well as tissue valves made from animal tissue. We educate you on the pros and cons of each, and work with you to determine which is best for you.
  • Streamlined care and convenience. If necessary, you may meet with a cardiologist and surgeon in one visit to streamline your care and make best use of your time.
  • Access to clinical trials. You may be eligible to participate in our clinical trials, which study new therapies for aortic valve disease.
  • Support for your recovery. Our cardiac prevention and cardiac rehabilitation program gives you a personalized plan for recovery after surgery, and long-term management of your heart health. Your program may include exercise instruction, nutritional counseling and more.



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