Minimally Invasive Surgery for Aortic Valve Repair
Jun 15, 2021 Cedars-Sinai Staff
Valvular heart disease affects about 2.5% of the U.S. population, but is more common in older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Every year, thousands of patients with valvular heart disease are treated at Cedars-Sinai. The Smidt Heart Institute performs more than 1,800 transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) annually, the highest volume of TAVR procedures than any other medical institution in the U.S.
There are two main types of aortic valve disease. Aortic valve stenosis occurs when a narrowing of the aortic valve prevents it from opening properly. Aortic valve regurgitation occurs when the aortic valve does not close properly, causing blood to "leak" back into the heart.
"The big problem with aortic valve disease is that it never gets better by itself," says Dr. Pedro Catarino, director of Aortic Surgery in the Smidt Heart Institute. "The symptoms of aortic valve disease get worse and worse, as your heart fails to compensate for the valve that is not working properly."
"Cedars-Sinai is at the cutting edge of cardiac surgery. It's really about doing the surgery in a more gentle, less minimally invasive way—which is better for the patient."
Who is a good candidate for aortic valve repair?
For patients who are diagnosed with aortic valve disease, the good news is that the aortic valve can be repaired or replaced through surgery.
"Surgery can repair your heart defect and give you a functioning valve," says Dr. Catarino.
Minimally invasive treatment options for aortic valve disease
Instead of undergoing open-heart surgery, patients with aortic valve disease can now opt for minimally invasive cardiac surgery, which results in fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.
The Smidt Heart Institute is a leader in minimally invasive cardiac surgery, including TAVR and other procedures to treat valvular heart disease.
"Cedars-Sinai is at the cutting edge of cardiac surgery," says Dr. Catarino. "It's really about doing the surgery in a more gentle, less minimally invasive way—which is better for the patient."
A personalized approach to cardiac surgery
Along with having state-of-the-art surgical facilities and innovative treatment options, the cardiac team at Cedars-Sinai provides standout care for their patients by adopting a personalized approach to treating valvular heart disease.
"I'd like my cardiac patients to understand that when I am considering their case, I'm making a decision that is tailored to them, including recommending them for heart surgery," says Dr. Catarino.