Heart Valve Program

Heart Valve Program

The Heart Valve Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center brings together specialists to evaluate, treat and provide long-term care for patients with heart valve conditions.
Request an appointment Request a second opinion

Call to request an appointment or referral 866-644-8910

Overview

The Heart Valve Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center provides a multidisciplinary team of experts to manage complex and common valve diseases. In this unique program, a cardiologist, echocardiographer and cardiac surgeon work together to:

  • Fully diagnose and understand a patient’s valve condition
  • Determine if a heart valve is repairable or needs replacement
  • Determine the right time to repair or replace a valve for a patient

A Convenient Process

Our team strives to make the evaluation process convenient and efficient by coordinating care among all specialists and by quickly communicating with referring physicians.

For example, prior to a patient's initial visit, Heart Valve Program physicians collect and review all records and imaging studies to determine what additional tests or consults are needed, and when possible, to schedule those appointments on the same day.

Dolly’s Story: Getting Back on Her Feet

Dolly Lakkis—a business owner, optician and competitive dancer—didn’t have time to be sick. When mitral valve disease started to affect the quality of her life, she turned to a team of Mass General specialists. Dolly’s doctors were able to repair her damaged heart valve with minimally invasive surgery that got her back on her feet—and back on the dance floor—as quickly as possible. Watch video

Initial Assessment

A patient's initial evaluation in the Heart Valve Program includes a full assessment, with a determination of whether or not an intervention is necessary, and if so, which procedure is most appropriate for the patient's specific condition.

Our physicians have seen the full spectrum of heart valve disorders and are experienced in treating the following conditions:

  • Valve conditions originating at birth (congenital valve diseases)
  • Damage to valves caused by rheumatic fever (rheumatic valve diseases)
  • Weakening or aging of the valve (degenerative valve disease)
  • Valve conditions related to abnormal function of the heart muscle (ischemic conditions)
  • Inflammation of the inner layer of the heart (valve endocarditis)

Treatments and Procedures

Interventional cardiologists within the Heart Valve Program are leaders in catheter-based approaches to valve disease and perform a range of procedures, including:

  • Mitral and aortic valvuloplasty for stenosis
  • Insertion of closure devices for prosthetic paravalvular leaks
  • Clinical trials for minimally invasive replacement of aortic valves (TAVR/TAVI) or repair for mitral valve regurgitation

Our expert cardiac surgeons offer the following open surgical procedures:

About this Program

Serguei Melnitchouk, MD (left), and Jonathan Passeri, MD, co-leaders of the Mass General Heart Valve Program.
Serguei Melnitchouk, MD (left), and Jonathan Passeri, MD, co-leaders of the Mass General Heart Valve Program.

The Heart Valve Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center brings together specialists in cardiology, echocardiography and cardiac surgery to provide an optimal evaluation, treatment and care of patients with heart valve disorders.

Under the leadership of Jonathan Passeri, MD, and Serguei Melnitchouk, MD, the Heart Valve Program is made up of experts in the evaluation and treatment of valve diseases.

In addition, all of our physicians are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, which means they not only have a mission to provide the best possible patient care, but also a commitment to educate the next generation of medical professionals.

Making a Mark on the Field of Cardiology

Heart Valve Program physicians have made breakthroughs in diagnosing heart valve diseases. In the late 1980s, our physicians helped redefine the criteria needed to diagnose mitral valve prolapse using echocardiography. Mitral valve prolapse is a condition that occurs when the valve between the left upper chamber and the left lower chamber of the heart doesn't close properly. By redefining these criteria, our physicians helped to drastically reduce the number of misdiagnosed patients in the United States. Today our physicians are continuing research on mitral valve prolapse, but focusing on cardiac genetics and its tie in to the condition.

Innovative Research

Our Heart Valve Program experts are conducting groundbreaking research and clinical trials to improve the care of individuals with heart disease.

Clinical trials and studies currently underway include:

  • PORTICO transcatheter aortic valve system trial
  • COAPT trial for individuals with mitral valve regurgitation and are not appropriate candidates for surgery
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) trial for patients with intermediate risk
  • Trial for patients with secondary mitral regurgitation
  • Metabolomics trial to predict outcomes in patients with valvular heart disease

Patients interested in participating in a clinical trial should reach out to their doctor directly for more information.

Conditions & Diseases

The care team at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center encourages all patients and family members to learn more about conditions and diseases that affect the heart and overall cardiovascular system. The links below provide more information about heart conditions and diseases that might be treated within this program.

  • Aortic Stenosis

    Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the opening of the heart’s aortic valve, which obstructs blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.

  • Heart Valve Diseases

    The heart’s valves can have one of two malfunctions - regurgitation (when the valve does not completely close) or stenosis (a narrowing of the valve).

  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

    This detailed overview of mitral valve prolapse (MVP) covers causes, symptoms and diagnosis along with surgical treatments such as mitral valve repair.

  • Rheumatic Heart Disease

    Rheumatic heart disease is a condition in which permanent damage to heart valves is caused by rheumatic fever.

Patient Education

Mass General is dedicated to ensuring that people understand their health care choices and have the necessary information to make decisions affecting their health and well being. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.

  • Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery (PDF)

    Learn what to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center by downloading and printing our patient guide to cardiac surgery.

  • Understanding and Preparing for a Catheterization Procedure (PDF)

    As you prepare for your catheterization, Massachusetts General Hospital clinicians want you to feel as comfortable as possible. To help you understand what to expect during your visit, this booklet describes key steps of your catheterization procedure.

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Cardiac Anesthesia

    The Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offers a patient guide to cardiac anesthesia. Our dedicated clinicians believe it is important for you to know what to expect before, during and after a cardiac anesthesia.

  • Visitor's Guide to Cardiac Surgery

    Cardiac nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center offer support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Contact

Contact Us

Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

55 Fruit Street Boston, MA 02114
  • Near Public Transit
  • Accessible
  • Phone: 866-644-8910


If you are a new patient, you may call the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center outpatient access office at 866-644-8910, or complete our online appointment form to request an appointment. A member of our access team will ask you more about your condition and symptoms, and match you with the best-fitting Corrigan Minehan Heart Center physician.

News

Video

  • An advanced cardiac CT scanner

    An advanced cardiac CT scanner

    Physicians at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center use leading-edge technology to identify possible cardiac abnormalities.

  • PARTNER trial

    Watch a video of our minimally invasive aortic valve replacement procedure

    The PARTNER (placement of aortic transcatheter valves) Trial is a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement procedure that is being investigated at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center.

  • thor-sundt-heart-valve-options

    Mass General Chief of Cardiac Surgery Discusses Choice Among Valve Prostheses

    Thor Sundt, MD, chief of cardiac surgery and director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, talks about heart valve options for patients undergoing heart valve surgery.

  • jonathan passeri aortic valve stenosis

    Mass General Cardiologist Talks about Aortic Valve Stenosis

    Jonathan Passeri, MD, co-director of the Mass General Heart Valve Program and director of Interventional Echocardiography, talks about aortic valve stenosis and answers common questions about symptoms to look out for and treatment options.

  • Dolly’s Story: Getting Back on Her Feet

    Dolly's Story: Getting Back on Her Feet

    Dolly Lakkis—a business owner, optician and competitive dancer—didn’t have time to be sick. When mitral valve disease started to affect the quality of her life, she turned to a team of specialists at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dolly’s doctors were able to repair her damaged heart valve with minimally invasive surgery that got her back on her feet—and back on the dance floor—as quickly as possible.

Request an appointment Request a second opinion

Call to request an appointment or referral 866-644-8910

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