Kenneth Shelton, MD, is a critical care physician and cardiothoracic anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the medical director of the Mass General Corrigan Minehan Heart Center Intensive Care Unit.
Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
Heart Valve Program
Explore This Treatment Program
About the Program
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, specialists in valvular heart disease, cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, cardiac surgery and cardiac anesthesia work together to:
- Fully diagnose and understand a patient’s valve condition
- Determine if a patient needs an intervention on their heart valve
- The options to treat heart valve disease include:
- Surgery—both minimally invasive and open surgical procedures
- Catheter-based procedures
- For all patients, we provide personalized and comprehensive care to determine the best and most appropriate approach to treatment.
A Convenient Process Customized to Each Patient
Our team strives to make the evaluation process convenient and efficient by coordinating care among all specialists and by quickly communicating with referring physicians. We customize each patient’s appointment to meet their specific needs.
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.
A patient's initial evaluation 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.
Conditions We Treat
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 (secondary valve disease)
- Infection or inflammation of a heart valve (valve endocarditis)
- Complications from artificial heart valves
- Routine management of artificial heart valves
Treatments & 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:
- Valve repair surgery (mitral, aortic and tricuspid valve reconstruction)
- Valve replacement surgery (mechanical and bioprosthetic valve replacement, including homografts and stentless prostheses)
- Annular enlargement procedures for aortic valve replacement in small hearts
- Valve-sparing aortic root replacement
- Apico-aortic conduits for aortic stenosis
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.
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
- 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.
A World-Class Team
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.
- Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Assistant Physician, Cardiology Division, MGH
- Director, Interventional Cardiology Research
- Associate Director, Echocardiography, Division of Cardiology.
- Director, Healthcare Transformation Lab
- Co-Director, Mass General Thoracic Aortic Center
- Senior physician, Cardiac Ultrasound Laboratory
- Cardiac Surgeon
- Co-Director, Heart Valve Program
- Co-Director, Heart Valve Program
- Director, Interventional Echocardiography
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 wellbeing. The related support and wellness information listed below can play a role in treatment options.
What to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center
Dolly’s Story: Getting Back on Her Feet
When mitral valve disease started to affect the quality of Dolly Lakkis' life, she turned to a team of Mass General specialists. Dolly’s doctors repaired 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.
- Press Release
- Jan | 10 | 2020
A team of surgeons and specialists at Mass General is announcing an achievement in transplant surgery today, having recently performed the largest number of adult heart transplants in the country using what are known as Donation after Circulatory Death (DCD) donor hearts.
- Press Release
- Oct | 16 | 2019
Linemen's rapid weight gain can lead to hardening of heart, arteries, but problems may be offset with increased aerobic training
- Jul | 11 | 2019
Whether you're meal-prepping or cooking for a crowd, try out this recipe featuring a healthy combination that does not skip out on flavor.
- Press Release
- Jun | 25 | 2019
A biological pathway previously found to contribute to the impact of stress on the risk of cardiovascular disease also may underlie the increased incidence of such disease experienced by individuals with lower socioeconomic status.
- May | 16 | 2019
Studies have shown that psychosocial stress contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes and makes it more difficult for people who have the disease to manage their blood sugar.