For comprehensive heart care, few medical centers rival the success of Gundersen. Although we've long treated patients with heart valve problems, we took it one step further by establishing a coordinated Valve Clinic.
To evaluate and manage adult patients with heart valve problems ranging from mild to complex the Valve Clinic brings together several heart and imaging specialists.
Referrals to the Valve Clinic
Ask your primary care provider for a referral to the Gundersen Valve Clinic if you've had:
- Heart murmur
- Abnormal echo
- Other symptoms of a heart valve problem
A Valve Clinic coordinator reviews your case file prior to your visit, and schedules appointments and consultations with the necessary specialists—generally all in a single visit. You'll first meet with one of our cardiologists who has reviewed your medical history and prior test results. If further testing is needed, we have nationally accredited imaging services with state-of-the-art equipment to perform diagnostic tests.
After a thorough evaluation, the findings are reviewed by your care team. A report outlining the findings and treatment recommendations will be shared with you and your primary care provider.
We'll work with you to provide the appropriate level of care. This may include:
- Sharing care where we provide only the initial consultation with follow up care provided by your doctor
- Ongoing management of your valve problem
- Involving our heart failure team or cardiac surgery team
- Coordinating a direct cardiovascular surgery consultation if you've already seen a cardiologist
If surgery is warranted, we offer open heart and minimally invasive surgical options. The best option will depend on the type and severity of your valve problem, valve repair versus replacement, your health and preference. If you have heart failure, the team can also call on support from our Heart Failure Clinic to review options for medical management of the valve problem.
Minimally invasive option available
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR is a minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure. It's for patients with aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the valve in the main heart artery due to calcium deposits. The condition causes the valve to not work properly so the heart must work harder to pump blood through the valve.
Treatment for aortic valve stenosis is usually valve replacement done as an open heart procedure, but many patients are not candidates for this traditional surgery.