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Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

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.
Image of the valves of the heart
Image of the valves of the heart
Image of the valves of the heart

Explore This Treatment Program

About the Heart Valve 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
  • Provide personalized and comprehensive care to determine the best and most appropriate approach to treatment
  • Determine if a patient needs an intervention on their heart valve
  • Perform state of the art treatments for valve disease, including:
    • Heart valve surgery—both minimally invasive and open surgical procedures
    • Catheter-based procedures

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

The Heart Valve Program at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center cares for patients with conditions affecting any of the heart’s four valves, including previously placed prosthetic heart valves. These conditions include:

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve, is a common but serious heart condition that reduces blood flow out of your heart. There are multiple causes of aortic stenosis, including congenital heart defects, calcification of the valve and infection. If severe and left untreated, aortic stenosis can weaken your heart and lead to heart failure. Aortic stenosis is treatable, and options include:

Aortic Regurgitation

Aortic regurgitation occurs when your aortic valve does not seal properly, allowing blood to flow backwards into your heart as it relaxes. This can cause pressure and fluid to build up in your heart and lungs, which can eventually cause heart failure. The aortic valve can start leaking for multiple reasons, including enlargement of the aorta itself (aortic aneurysm) and infection. Aortic regurgitation is treatable, and some options include:

Mitral Stenosis

Calcium build-up, infection and congenital heart defects can cause the mitral valve to open incompletely. This condition, mitral stenosis, can increase the blood pressure in your heart and lungs, leading to difficulty breathing and abnormal heart rhythms. Depending on a patient’s individual history and valve anatomy, The Heart Valve Program team can often treat mitral stenosis with a catheter-based procedure, however valve replacement may also be required. Some options include:

  • Balloon mitral valvuloplasty
  • Mitral valve replacement
Mitral Regurgitation

When the mitral valve fails to close and seal completely, blood flows backwards inside of the heart instead of out to your body. This condition, known as mitral valve regurgitation (or mitral insufficiency), is one of the most common forms of heart valve disease. Severe mitral valve regurgitation can cause the heart to enlarge over time and pump blood less effectively. As a result, patients can develop heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms and experience symptoms such as shortness of breath. Members of the Heart Valve Program offer multiple ways to treat mitral regurgitation, including:

Tricuspid Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation

Tricuspid valve disease can cause the valve to either open or close incorrectly. This can happen due to a primary problem with the valve itself or as a result of problems with other heart valves. Tricuspid valve disease can cause your body to accumulate fluid and can eventually cause liver and other organ damage. Tricuspid valve disease was treated with medications alone for many years, but we are beginning to learn that aggressively treating tricuspid valve disease with surgery or transcatheter procedures may improve patients’ symptoms. Members of the Heart Valve Program offer several different ways to teat tricuspid valve disease (see below) and are actively enrolling patients in clinical trials focused on the tricuspid valve.

  • Tricuspid valve repair
  • Tricuspid valve replacement
  • Current clinical trials for patients with tricuspid valve disease
Pulmonic Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation

Pulmonic valve disease usually occurs due to congenital heart problems (heart disease you are born with) or infection. Consequently, pulmonic valve disease should be cared for by surgeons and cardiologists with experience in congenital heart disease. Members of the Heart Valve Program include world leaders in the management of adult congenital heart disease and offer multiple options for treating the pulmonic valve. Some options may include: 

Patient Resources

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.

Anatomical illustration of the heart
Anatomical Heart Illustration

Anatomical Heart Illustration

An illustration of the heart's anatomy, showing the arteries, valves and ventricles.

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Patient Guide to Cardiac Surgery

What to expect before, during and after your surgery at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

FAQs: Cardiac Anesthesia

FAQs: Cardiac Anesthesia

A guide of what to expect before, during and after cardiac anesthesia.

Patient education page
Family Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Family Guide to Cardiac Surgery

Support and guidance during a family member's open-heart surgery or transplantation.

Contact the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

Call or email us to learn more, or request an appointment online.