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Heart Valves

Lee Health: Your Trusted Partner for Valve Health and Cardiac Care

Lee Health cardiologists provide many different types of treatments for heart valve issues and take a multidisciplinary approach to valve health to help you feel better.

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Understanding Your Heart Valve Health

The heart has four chambers, two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). Before leaving each chamber of the heart blood passes through a valve. This valve or flap sometimes referred to as a leaflet act as one-way inlets for blood coming into your ventricle and a one-way outlet for blood leaving your ventricle.

 Your heart has four different valves: 

  • The tricuspid valve regulates blood flow between the right atrium and right ventricle.
  • The pulmonary valve controls blood flow from the right ventricle into the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen.
  • The mitral valve lets oxygen-rich blood from your lungs pass from the left atrium into the left ventricle.
  • The aortic valve opens the way for oxygen-rich blood to pass from the left ventricle into the aorta, your body’s largest artery.
  • At the first sign of a heart attack, every second counts. Our emergency cardiac care team is available 24 hours a day at our four adult hospitals.

Understanding Heart Valve Disease

When something is wrong with one of your heart valves, this means you have heart valve disease. Some people with heart valve disease are born with it, while others develop heart valve disease later in life.

Heart valves can have several problems including:

  • Regurgitation, or leakage. The valve does not close completely, so blood leaks through in the wrong direction.
  • Stenosis, or narrowing. This means that a valve does not open wide enough to let sufficient blood pass through.
  • Atresia, when a valve opening doesn't develop normally during childhood. This prevents blood flowing from an atria to ventricle or ventricle to your pulmonary artery or aorta.

When heart valves fail to open and close correctly, it can lead to serious damage to the heart. This harm can negatively impact the heart's ability to pump blood through your body.

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Types of Heart Valve Surgery

There are many different types of valve repair surgery. Three of the most common are valvuloplasty, traditional heart valve surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery. In some cases, patients may require valve replacement surgery.  

  • Balloon valvuloplasty is used to treat stenosis, or narrowing, of the heart valve.  
  • Traditional valve repair is a form of open heart surgery. Your surgeon will have direct access to the valves of your heart in order to make the required repairs.
  •  Minimally invasive valve repair, including robotic surgery, uses smaller incisions to repair your heart's valves.  

Not everyone is a candidate for minimally invasive valve surgery. Your surgeon will determine if this type of surgery is right for you, and your doctor will discuss the risks of these procedures with you.

Heart Valve Technology and Expertise at Lee Health

Lee Health provides the most advanced valve repair surgeries and treatments using a multidisciplinary approach.

Our surgeons have extensive experience with minimally invasive procedures. We have found that a minimally invasive approach can be effective for most cardiac surgery patients, even with challenging repairs. The surgeons operating at Lee Health routinely use minimally invasive procedures for mitral valve repair.

Lee Health is also a leader in the use of robotic surgery for valve repair. Robotic surgery makes it possible to perform valve surgery through smaller incisions with greater control and accuracy. Lee Health was the first in the region to perform valve surgery with robotic assistance.

Who should I contact?

For questions related to cardiovascular care or services, email us at [email protected].

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