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Heart valve surgery

Trust the Area's Heart Valve Experts

Thanks to our groundbreaking surgeons, technology and procedures, UF Health Leesburg Hospital has been number one in the region for more than five years in the number of successful heart valve surgeries performed, bringing new hope to life for patients with heart valve conditions.

The heart has four valves that work hard to ensure that blood flows in the right direction. If any of these valves become diseased or damaged, blood might not leave the heart at a normal rate, or might flow backwards into the heart. The two that most often require a doctor’s attention are the aortic valve and mitral valve. Thankfully, there are many treatment options available to repair or replace valves that leak or have become weakened or narrowed.

We utilize a heart-team approach—which includes the collaboration of a cardiologist, cardiac surgeon and anesthesiologist—to examine the disease comprehensively.

In traditional aortic valve surgery, an incision is made in the sternum and the breastbone is divided to provide access to the heart. The surgeon then repairs or replaces the valve. The minimally-invasive procedure—though not an option for everyone—is performed with a much smaller incision. This translates into a shorter hospital stay and recovery period. In addition, the rise of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) over the last decade has offered promise as an option for those patients previously considered unsuitable for surgical valve replacement.

Our team continues to lead the way in progressive heart and valve procedures, performing nearly 700 open heart surgeries every year. The robust program consistently earns excellent outcomes and strives to deliver high-quality care to our community.

Taking the "Open" Out of Open Heart Valve Replacements

Replacing damaged heart valves without open heart surgery is possible for some patients with a procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). UF Health Leesburg Hospital became one of the first hospitals in the country to perform TAVR for treatment of severe aortic valve stenosis, using a catheter inserted between the ribs of the left lower chest. This FDA-approved treatment for people suffering from severe aortic stenosis with no other treatment options, followed quickly on the heels of the hospital performing the region's first TAVR through the femoral artery in the groin.

Aortic valve stenosis is a disease of the heart valves in which the opening of the aortic valve is narrowed preventing it from opening and closing properly causing the heart to work harder to push blood through the aortic valve increasing the patient's risk pf heart failure.

Aortic stenosis is a common problem, especially in older patients, and it is a common cause of heart failure and death. Our program has seen great success. While some patients are not a candidate to have the procedure done through the femoral artery, the introduction of the transapical approach now enables us to treat most patients with vascular disease through the tip of the heart itself.