Heart Valve Clinic


Contact Casey Bohnert, RN, Valve Clinic Coordinator for the TAVR program at 573-331-6770.

The Heart Valve Clinic at SoutheastHEALTH provides the expertise of a team of specialists who care for patients with cardiac valve disease.

The team, which includes cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons, works with a patient’s primary care physician to determine the best course of care for each patient.

The clinic works with patients who have cardiac valve disease, especially those with complicating conditions such as advanced age, co-morbidities or prior history.

What Is Heart Valve Disease?

Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. The valves open and close once during each heartbeat. Sometimes, the valves don't open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body. In a condition called stenosis, a valve isn't able to open properly. In a condition called regurgitation, a valve doesn't close properly and can leak.

Heart valve disease includes:

  • Aortic valve disease
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Pulmonary valve disease
  • Tricuspid valve disease

Heart Conditions We Treat

The multispecialty team offers evaluation and treatment for conditions including:

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Complex coronary artery disease

Heart Valve Treatment Options

Your heart valve disease treatment depends on the valve affected and the type and severity of the valve disease. Sometimes heart valve disease requires heart valve surgery.

Treatment options at the SoutheastHEALTH Heart Valve Clinic include:

  • Traditional surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery - TAVR and Perceval
  • Hybrid procedure (minimally invasive valve surgery with simultaneous percutaneous intervention)
  • Balloon valvuloplasty
  • Percutaneous valve repair

What are Benefits of Heart Valve Surgery?

Heart valve surgery can result in:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Prolonged life
  • Reduced symptoms
  • Preservation of the function of your heart muscle

What are Complications of Heart Valve Surgery?

While all open-heart surgeries involve some risk, major complications are rare because of improved technology and surgical techniques. Most heart valve repair and replacement surgeries are successful in restoring the function of your heart with a low rate of complications.

Complications could include:

  • Bleeding
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • Stroke
  • Surgery needed for a new valve, in some instances, if the heart valve fails over time

TAVR (Treatment for Severe Aortic Stenosis)

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) involves placing a new aortic valve into the body via a catheter inserted through a small incision in the leg or chest, guided to the heart through the circulatory system. TAVR can offer a much shorter recovery time of 1-2 weeks versus 6-8 weeks with the traditional sternotomy (open chest surgery).

To find out if you are a candidate for TAVR, call 573-331-6770.

Stenotic Aortic Heart ValveThe Benefits of TAVR:

  • Performed without stopping the heart
  • No need for cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Minimally invasive procedure that can result in a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery time

Qualifications for Potential Candidates:

  • Patients with severe aortic stenosis with a history of:
    • Previous sternotomy
    • Previous radiation to the chest
    • Porcelain (calcified) aorta
    • Cerebral or peripheral vascular disease
    • Lung disease
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • OR other coexisting medical conditions

The leaflets of a stenotic or calcified aortic heart valve are unable to open wide, obstructing blood flow from the left ventricle into the aorta which may cause symptoms like severe shortness of breath.

TAVRWhat is a Severe Aortic Stenosis?
Severe aortic stenosis is a condition in which the opening of the aortic valve becomes narrow, restricting blood flow from the heart. Symptoms include chest pain and chest pressure. It can also cause blood to back up into the lungs, resulting in shortness of breath. It often develops debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

“Over time, the valve can become calcified, preventing it from opening and obstructing blood flow. Open-chest surgery is the traditional treatment method for this condition, but catheter-based valve replacement gives hope to patients who cannot undergo surgery for a variety of reasons.”
Paul Robison, MD, MMM, FACS, FACC, FACCP, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Heart Valve Clinic
Interventional Cardiologist, Steven Carr, MD

SoutheastHEALTH’s quality outcomes and technologically advanced facility lend to the many reasons it is among one of the few hospitals in the nation selected to receive and treat patients with the TAVR technology since its FDA approval.