Aortic Valve Disease

This information is useful for adults
heart
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We've been performing transcatheter aortic valve replacements since 2011.
  • We are among the most experienced in this procedures nationwide.
  • Every transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery is customized for each patient.

Your heart has four valves. Their job is to make sure blood flows in the right direction and at the right speed throughout the heart. Each of these valves act like doors: They need to be properly formed and flexible, should open all the way so that the right amount of blood can pass through, and should close tightly so that no blood leaks back into the chamber. 

However, as people age, many of their valves may begin to degenerate and improperly open (stenosis) or improperly close (regurgitation).

Mild or moderate valve disease is usually not a serious problem. However, patients with severe valve disease may require treatment to replace failing heart valves. 

Yale Medicine Cardiac Surgery performs approximately 200 transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs) every year—one of the highest numbers in the country.

Aortic valve stenosis happens most often because calcium builds up in the aortic valve. The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle and the aorta. This buildup of calcium stops the valve from opening fully and impairs affects the valve by reducing its ability to fully open. This forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of your body.  

Aortic valve regurgitation can happen because of a bacterial infection in the heart (endocarditis), aging or high blood pressure. 

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.