Heart Care Services: Heart Valve Disease Program

UF Health’s Heart Valve Disease Program combines the latest technology and minimally invasive therapy options with design and amenities for our patients that promote healing and recovery. Our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons work side-by-side in our new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital to care for patients with valve diseases. These experts have been performing heart valve repairs for over 20 years and are at the forefront of the latest research, including multiple clinical trials for new devices and treatments options.

The UF Health Difference

At UF Health, you or your loved one benefit from the experience, expertise and excellence we bring to minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement.

  • Experience. Our heart experts have been performing heart valve repairs for more than 20 years. We began performing specialized transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in 2012, and the transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) with MitraClip procedure in 2017.
  • Expertise. Our experts have successfully completed over 700 TAVR procedures. We are also actively involved in innovative research and clinical trials that are not offered anywhere else — offering more options for treatment.
  • Excellence. Our interventional cardiologists have over a 90 percent success rate with the TMVR with MitraClip procedure

Types of minimally invasive approaches

Minimally invasive procedures offer several benefits that open-heart surgery does not, including:

  • Smaller incision(s), in the groin or the chest, instead of one large incision through the breastbone (sternum)
  • Fewer blood transfusions
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Faster recovery times

At UF Health, our team performs two types of minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement:

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, replaces a malfunctioning heart valve with a new one. It is used to treat aortic valve stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve narrows due to scarring or a congenital (present at birth) defect. When the valve narrows, it does not allow the blood to flow properly.

During the procedure, our cardiologists and surgeons insert a catheter (thin tube) into an artery in your leg or less often the chest. The physicians then place a valve which has been mounted on a catheter and guide it into your aortic valve. After the doctors position the new valve inside the damaged valve, the valve is expanded. This expansion pushes the pieces of the old valve safely out of the way. After TAVR, there is better blood flow from your heart to the rest of your body.

After the procedure, you will be in the hospital for one to two days. Your full recovery will take one to two months.

Transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) with MitraClip

TMVR, or transcatheter mitral valve replacement, with MitraClip, repairs a malfunctioning and leaky mitral valve in the heart. TMVR is recommended for high-risk patients who are not candidates for open-heart surgery. It is used to treat mitral regurgitation, a condition where the mitral heart valve does not close correctly, allowing blood to leak backward into your heart towards the lungs.

During the procedure, our cardiologists and surgeons insert a catheter into a vein in your leg. The physicians then insert the MitraClip through the catheter and place it over the mitral valve tissue known as leaflets. This small, metal and polyester device allows us to repair your mitral valve instead of replacing it. The MitraClip holds the valve’s flaps together in the center, creating two new channels that reduce the blood flowing backward into the heart.

You should expect to spend one to two days in the hospital and one to four weeks recovering at home following the procedure. Your recovery time will depend on how healthy you are before TMVR.

Team Members

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about our program or scheduling an appointment, please call 352.265.0820.