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Patients with heart valve disease usually experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and irregular heartbeats. In the clinic, the physician listens to the heart and may hear heart ‘murmurs’, or irregular heartbeats. The diagnosis is usually confirmed through diagnostic testing, such as:
Moderate grades of heart valve disease can, in most instances, be treated with medication. If the disease is severe, heart valve surgery, such as valve repair or valve replacement, may be necessary. In valve repair, the patient’s own valve is preserved. For valve replacement, biological tissue valves or mechanical valves are used. While mechanical valves last longer, patients will require blood thinning medication to prevent blood clots.
The traditional way to perform heart valve surgeries is through a midline chest incision, with a heart lung machine used to maintain circulation during surgery. If certain criteria are met, the operation can be carried out through small non-invasive incisions in the chest. Another surgery option is catheter-based valve intervention, in which catheters are inserted into the heart valve through the groin or the chest. These minimally invasive surgery approaches mean less trauma and faster healing for the patient.
During their medical practice at Cleveland Clinic in the US and at other respected institutions, our interventional cardiologists and heart surgeons developed and practiced new treatment methods for catheter-based valve interventions and robotically-assisted minimally invasive heart valve surgery. This expertise has been brought to our hospital through their full-time presence at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
Special surgical techniques available include:
The Heart Valve Disease Program’s multidisciplinary team provide care and support throughout all stages of the patient journey. Caregivers involved in includes: