Heart Valve Clinic
The first completely successful artificial heart valve was co-invented and implanted by surgeon Albert Starr at OHSU in 1960. Starr's innovation with engineer Lowell Edwards, the Starr-Edwards valve, was a standard in the field for over 40 years.
OHSU continues to lead the way in valve treatment with innovative approaches such as percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation – a revolutionary option for treating pulmonary valve conduit failure without open heart surgery. OHSU is the only hospital in Oregon and one of only a small number of programs in the country to offer this FDA-approved procedure.
In November 2011, the FDA approved the first artificial aortic heart valve replacement without open-heart surgery. OHSU's Dr. Albert Starr explains more about the transcatheter heart valve and future innovations in how we treat structural heart disease. In October 2012, OHSU performed the West Coast's first non-investigational transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) using a transapical approach in which a catheter is inserted through a small incision between the ribs.
The Heart's Valves
The heart has four valves: the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves. Their function is to help keep blood flowing through the heart to the rest of your body. If a heart valve is diseased or damaged, blood might not leave your heart at the normal rate, or might flow backwards into your heart.
The main types of valve disease are stenosis (narrowing of a heart valve) and regurgitation (leaking valve). Symptoms include being short of breath or getting tired more quickly when you exercise or do daily activities. You might notice more symptoms when you are in bed at night or lie down at other times.
The specialists at OHSU's Heart Valve Clinic evaluate and treat patients with heart valve problems, which sometimes require surgery to repair or replace the valve. Our heart surgeons do many heart valve replacements and repairs each year, so you can be confident you'll receive the best care.
Services at this Clinic
- Diagnosis, staging and medical management of heart valve disorders
- Evaluation for minimally invasive treatments
- Surgery to repair or replace damaged heart valves