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A cardiologist holds a stethoscope to check her patient's heart rate and rhythm.

What is a minimally invasive heart valve replacement?

Each time your heart beats, your heart valves open and close, allowing blood to flow into, through, and out of your heart in one direction. When the heart valves begin to fail, the heart beats harder to compensate for the reduced blood flow, leading to heart valve disease. In this case, the valve will need to be repaired or replaced.

What are the benefits of a minimally invasive valve replacement?

  • Less surgical trauma
  • Less postoperative bleeding and blood units transfused
  • Faster recovery
  • Shorter hospital and ICU stay
  • Less pain

What are the risk factors for a minimally invasive valve replacement?

Who is a candidate for a minimally invasive valve replacement?

Most people are eligible for a minimally invasive procedure. It is most recommended for those who:

  • May not physically be able to handle a long procedure or recovery time.
  • Have difficulty stabilizing themselves, as this could make it more difficult for the breastbone to heal following a more traditional procedure.
  • Need to return to work sooner rather than later and require a quicker recovery time.

Are there different types of minimally invasive valve replacement?

We offer the latest valve repair and replacement procedures, including:

Rewriting the standard of care

We were one of the first in the world to perform percutaneous valve replacement under local anesthesia, conducted over 10 clinical trials for thoracic and abdominal aneurysm repair, and participated in all carotid stent trials. Additionally, we have pioneered and popularized TAVR fast-track protocols that allow for a same-day procedure under local anesthesia with next-day discharge. As a world leader in redefining percutaneous valve repair, patients worldwide come to our hospital for these procedures every day.

Palpitations are sensations you feel when your heart rate speeds up, or when you can feel it thumping in your chest. They are common, and causes include exercise, stress, and caffeine. Arrhythmias are disruptions in regular heart rhythm and can have more serious symptoms, such as chest pain, light-headedness, and shortness of breath. If you believe you are experiencing arrhythmias, schedule an appointment with a St. Luke’s Health cardiologist.

Also referred to as AFib, atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia that can cause other heart conditions such as blood clots, stroke, and heart failure. Physicians may treat AFib with medication, recommending lifestyle changes, or by diagnosing and treating underlying conditions that cause irregular heartbeats.

If you are having a heart attack, which happens when parts of the heart do not receive enough blood flow, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain. Pain in the center or left side of the chest is one of the most common signs of a heart attack. You may feel a tightness, fullness, or squeezing sensation that can last for several minutes.
  • Discomfort in the upper body. This can include pain in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, back, and stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. While this symptom usually accompanies chest pain, it can occur before the discomfort starts.
  • Lightheadedness. In combination with other symptoms, feeling as though you are about to pass out is a common indicator of a heart attack.
  • Heart palpitations. You may begin to feel irregular or skipping heartbeats.

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U.S. News & World Report

U.S News & World Report has recognized Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties.