Your heart health affects other aspects of your body. Because of this, you may need to see more than one doctor.
The UPMC Center for Heart Valve Disease provides this complete care in one convenient place.
Our center combines nationally recognized experts across many specialties and the latest technology in one visit.
We've been part of the pivotal clinical trials in heart valve disease and bring that knowledge to you.
To make an appointment with a UPMC heart valve doctor:
The heart has four valves that handle blood flow. They make sure blood flows in the right direction through the heart and to the body.
Heart valve disease happens when one or more valves in the heart doesn't work right. This problem can emerge over time, or it can be a problem you're born with.
When a valve doesn't work, blood doesn't flow through your body as it should.
Two common ways a heart valve can fail are:
Aging is one of the main causes of heart valve disease.
Some people are born with defects in a heart valve, such as two flaps instead of three. This can later cause the valve to stop working like it should.
Other causes of heart valve disease include prior infections or problems with blood flow to the heart muscle.
Some people may be more at risk of heart valve disease.
The following factors increase your risk:
The best way to prevent heart valve disease is to make changes to lower your risk factors, such as:
You should also see your doctor to help you manage chronic conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.
Our center aims to provide you with world-class experts, diagnostics, and treatment in one convenient location.
We regularly research heart valve disease. This means you have access to technology or treatments other centers don't have.
The UPMC Center for Heart Valve Disease participates in a number of clinical trials designed to increase patient access to medical therapies. UPMC is currently enrolling in the following heart valve disease focused trials:
SUMMIT: Clinical Trial to Evaulate the Safety and Effectiveness of Using the Tendyne Mitral Valve System for the treatment of Symptomatic Mitral Regurgitation
In addition, UPMC has a long history of participating in groundbreaking, historic research centered around extending access to TAVR across different patient populations.
Not everyone with valve disease has symptoms.
Doctors often find a valve problem during an echocardiogram for a heart murmur.
When people do have symptoms, they may include:
The diagnosis process starts with a physical exam and your health and family history.
Your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope.
You may also have some imaging tests.
Our center has advanced imaging tools and skilled experts to read them.
These tools include:
Treatment varies by person and symptoms.
Treatments we offer at the UPMC Center for Heart Valve Disease include:
Our experts use minimally invasive techniques as well as open surgery.
UPMC was one of the first to do transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). TAVR is a minimally invasive, catheter-based treatment for aortic valve stenosis.
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is the only hospital in western Pa. to offer the Ozaki procedure for aortic valve replacement. Led by Danny Chu, MD, our team of experts use an innovative surgical technique to replace your diseased aortic valve using your existing tissue. We perform the highest volume of adult Ozaki procedures in the U.S. and offer this specialized technique to patients diagnosed with:
The Center for Heart Valve Disease has experts across many specialties to provide complete care in one place.
Our doctors regularly take part in research, giving you access to the latest advances.