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Treatment Options for Structural and Heart Valve Conditions

As a leader in cardiac care, the University of Chicago Medicine offers a comprehensive approach to treating heart valve and structural heart disease, including medical intervention, cardiac surgery, robotic surgery and transcatheter procedures. Physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine have pioneered many of the advanced minimally invasive and transcatheter techniques that are used globally today. Our multidisciplinary team collaborates closely to determine a treatment plan that is tailored to each individual patient, which could include a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, interventional procedures and/or surgery.



For some patients, heart conditions can be controlled with medication. Certain drugs can lessen the symptoms associated with valve or structural heart disease, while decreasing the likelihood of further complications. These medicines can increase the heart's pumping ability, control irregular heartbeats, relieve discomfort and prevent blood clots.



Patients who have more advance heart disease may require surgical or nonsurgical intervention to manage their condition. Our surgeons are internationally recognized leaders in both traditional and minimally invasive procedures.

Heart valve surgery

Our surgeons have pioneered many of the latest surgical techniques for heart valve disease, including minimally invasive and robotic approaches for smaller incisions and faster healing.

We perform valve repairs, reconstructions and replacements. Learn more about our valve repair and replacement treatment options.

Transcatheter Procedures

<h2 id="transcateter">Transcatheter Procedures</h2>

Transcatheter, or percutaneous, procedures are performed in our state-of-the-art catheterization lab by a team of highly skilled interventional cardiologists. For patients with heart valve disease or congenital heart defeats that are too high risk for traditional surgical procedures, catheterization offers an alternative treatment solutions that uses minimally invasive techniques to repair mitral valves, replace aortic valves, to seal leaks and more.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

<h3 id="tavr">Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)</h3>Sapien Transcatheter Heart Valve

TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative for patients who are too high risk for traditional aortic replacement surgery. Instead of opening the chest, a small tube (catheter) is guided through an artery in the groin or between the ribs into the heart. The artificial valve is compressed and fed through the catheter until it reaches the aortic valve. Once in place, a balloon expands the artificial valve and the catheter is removed. The new valve replaces the old, increasing blood flow throughout the body.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair with MitraClip

For patients with mitral valve regurgitation (leaky valve) who are too high-risk for traditional or robotic surgery, transcatheter mitral valve repair offers an alternative solution. During this minimally invasive procedure, a mechanical clasp, the MitraClip, is implanted into the heart using a catheter that is guided to the chest through the femoral vein. The MitraClip clamps the mitral valve leaflets together, reducing leakage and associated symptoms of regurgitation. Learn more about valve regurgitation and the MitraClip.

Transcatheter aortic valve fusion

Some heart failure patients that have a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) may develop aortic insufficiency that requires additional treatment. A transcatheter aortic valve fusion is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat stenosis for heart failure patients with circulatory support devices. The University of Chicago has extensive experience in treating these patients and has developed techniques to improve their quality of life.

Left arterial appendage closure

The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small pouch in the muscle wall of the left atrium. When a patient has atrial fibrillation, this pouch can collect blood that can form clots, creating an increased risk of stroke. To minimize this risk, our interventional cardiologists can seal the LAA through catheterization, preventing blood from gathering in the appendage.

Transcatheter repair of congenital defects

Our interventional cardiologist use percutaneous techniques to treat a wide range of congenital heart defects. Through catheterization, a "plug" can be fed through a thin tube and inserted in the heart to block any leaks or close holes for patients with atrial septal defects, patent foramen ovales and ventricular septal defects.

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Hybrid Operating Room

The Hybrid Operating Room and the University of Chicago Medicine combines surgical and interventional therapies to allow our heart and vascular team to work together to perform innovative and beneficial procedures.