New clinic brings specialists together

Prairie continues its tradition of excellence in heart care with the Prairie Heart and Vascular Institute Valve Clinic, the first multidisciplinary clinic of its kind in the metro-east. At the Prairie Valve Clinic, our expert cardiologists, heart surgeons and other cardiac care specialists work together to provide the highest quality of heart care to patients with complex valve disorders.

Some of these valve disorders include:

• Aortic stenosis-a condition which results from a buildup of calcified plaque on the aortic valve.

• Mitral stenosis-a condition which results from a buildup of calcified plaque on the mitral leaflets.

• Mitral regurgitation-a leaking of blood from the mitral valve leaflets back into the left atrium.

Occasionally, the earliest indication that something may be wrong with a heart valve is a physician hearing a heart murmur. Some heart murmurs can be present at birth and some can develop with age. Although a heart murmur isn’t really a disease, it can be indicative of an underlying heart or valve problem. Some murmurs are harmless and don’t require treatment. Other murmurs can indicate a problem with the heart muscle or a heart valve. Other signs that may suggest a person has a problem with a heart valve are shortness of breath, swelling or sudden weight gain, chronic cough, chest pain, dizziness or even fainting.

The heart of the Valve Clinic is our team’s collaborative-care philosophy, which promotes building strong relationships between the patients’ own referring physicians and our Valve Clinic team. The Valve Clinic team works closely with referring physicians in the clinical decision- making and treatment plans to ensure a smooth transition for all patients as they return to the care of their own physicians.

The Prairie Valve Clinic offers access to a compliment of heart valve specialists who work together to ensure that each patient receives the best care possible. These specialists, combined with industry-leading technology, provide complete diagnosis and treatment for patients with valvular heart disease. Treatments include lifestyle changes that can help to ease the symptoms of minor heart valve problems, medications that can delay the need for intervention, open- heart surgery and even the latest minimally invasive techniques such as TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) and MitraClip.