Conditions and Treatments

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Heart valve disease occurs when one or more of the valves in your heart doesn't open or close properly.

Your heart has four valves which control blood flow, opening and closing to ensure that blood is always flowing forward and that there is no backward leakage. The mitral and tricuspid valves control blood flow from the atria to the ventricles, and the aortic and pulmonary valves control blood flow out of the ventricles.

When a heart valve doesn't fully open, called valvular stenosis, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the opening. When a heart valve doesn't close tightly, called valvular insufficiency or "leaky valve", blood will leak backwards, also making the heart work harder.

Treatments for heart valve disease vary depending on the affected valve(s) and the severity of the disease. Types of heart valve disease include:

Columbia has been at the forefront of developing minimally invasive, robotic, and catheter-based approaches to heart valve repairs and replacements, allowing those who are at higher risk access to lifesaving surgery. Additionally, hybrid approaches for complex cases are performed routinely at our Heart Valve Center, such as a combined tricuspid valve repair and mitral valve replacement.