Structural Heart Procedures

The Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute surgeons stay at the forefront of technology and surgery techniques to ensure the best possible care with the quickest possible recovery. We were the first in Central Florida to offer innovative procedures such as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) and MitraClip for mitral valve regurgitation to treat structural heart conditions, such as stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve) and mitral valve regurgitation (when blood flows backward into the heart).

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) for Aortic Stenosis

The aortic valve allows oxygen-rich blood to circulate from the heart to the rest of the body. Stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart. The condition prevents adequate blood flow and creates congestion in the lungs. A minimally invasive procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) can help reduce the symptoms of aortic stenosis and increase the quality of life experienced after the procedure.

Initially, only high-risk patients were considered good candidates for TAVR. This innovative, minimally invasive procedure gave options to people who were an intermediate to high risk for traditional heart valve replacement. However, it is now considered the most effective choice for most patients with aortic stenosis because of this innovative treatment's success.

TAVR Procedure

TAVR is performed by placing a thin, hollow tube called a catheter in an artery in the groin area. A new, artificial heart valve is threaded through the catheter, into the blood vessel and to the heart's diseased valve. The new valve is positioned and held in place by the old valve. The new valve starts to function immediately and improves blood flow through the heart.

The procedure usually lasts 90 minutes. The patient is sedated with medication to aid relaxation and pain control but remains awake while it takes place. Many patients can be discharged the following day and are generally back to regular activities within a week. Patients typically feel they have a new lease on life and can start to enjoy activities they didn't think possible before the surgery.

Mitral Valve Repair (MitraClip) for Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation prevents the mitral valve located on the left side of the heart from closing correctly. When this happens blood flows backwards into the heart as it contracts. This reduces blood flow to the rest of the body and may lead to congestive heart failure without proper care.

Treatment for mitral regurgitation varies according to its severity and the overall health of the patient. Mitral regurgitation gets worse over time without intervention. It can often be controlled with mitral valve surgery called transcatheter mitral valve repair that uses a device called a MitraClip to prevent regurgitation.

Traditional mitral valve surgery replaces or repairs your mitral valve using open-heart surgery. Because open-heart surgery can be a high-risk procedure with a long recovery for some patients, a transcatheter mitral valve repair using a MitraClip is often a less-invasive treatment option with a greater chance of success.

What to Expect During the MitraClip Procedure

During a MitraClip procedure, doctors place a catheter through a large vein in the groin to reach the heart. A clip is then placed onto the mitral valve, which allows the valve to open and close on either side of the clip. The procedure reduces the amount of blood that flows backward through the valve (regurgitation).

The average patient typically stays in the hospital one to two days following the procedure, depending on their recovery and overall health. Most patients experience an improved quality of life and require fewer hospitalizations after MitraClip therapy.