Valvular Heart Disease

The Valvular Heart Disease program offers an array of expertise and options for adult patients with valvular heart disease. This is a unique program in northern New England.

Valvular disease most often occurs in the aortic and mitral valves of the heart, but also can be found in the pulmonary and tricuspid valves.

As our patient, you will benefit from the holistic and collaborative approach our team takes to the diagnosis and treatment of valvular heart disease. Complex cases are discussed in a recurring valve conference where specialists from cardiac imaging, cardiac surgery, interventional cardiology, structural heart disease, and non-invasive cardiology review and discuss the relevant medical history, diagnostic imaging, and treatment options to develop optimal treatment plans.

We also work to develop better ways to communicate with patients about their conditions and treatment options in an effort to ensure that recommended procedures match the patients' values and preferences.

Cardiovascular imaging

Cardiovascular imaging technologies provide detailed information about the heart and its physical characteristics, such as size, shape, and presence of tissue damage. Imaging is critical to thorough evaluation and selection of the best treatment strategy for your diagnosis. Our team of cardiac imaging specialists deliver high quality imaging prior to valve surgery or intervention, as well as during and after your procedure, to assess pathology and outcomes.

Cardiac surgery

Treatment for valvular heart diseases often requires cardiac surgery. Our surgeons determine the appropriate surgical approach based on factors such as your overall health, the extent of damage to the valve, and whether the valve can be repaired or must be replaced.

Our cardiac surgical team is highly skilled and utilizes less ­invasive, as well as catheter-based approaches, and other changing protocols for some valvular conditions, especially for patients not suited to open surgery due to age or co-­occurring conditions.

Structural heart disease

Specialists in our Structural Heart Disease Program offer new treatment options, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement/implantation (TAVR/TAVI) and transcatheter mitral valve repair with MitraClip®. Some of these treatments are only available through clinical trials or at a limited number of centers.

If you are diagnosed with valve disease, but are not yet experiencing symptoms, you might also be considered for earlier intervention, based on new and emerging research.