Stony Brook University Medical Center has opened a new Valve Center that offers comprehensive treatment of valvular heart disease, which is any disease process involving one or more of the valves of the heart.
According to the American Heart Association, a person can be born with an abnormal heart valve, or a valve can become damaged by infections such as endocarditis, rheumatic fever, or changes in valve structure in the elderly. Treatment options include medication or, depending on the severity, valve repair or replacement by inserting an artificial heart valve.
The Valve Center is located within the Stony Brook University Heart Center off the main lobby of the Hospital. It provides a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment of valve disease, in which the cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and the best therapeutic option tailored to the patient’s specific valve disease. A nurse practitioner also meets with each patient to coordinate evaluation and treatment.
“The goal of the Valve Center is to provide patients with a thorough diagnostic evaluation of their valve disease so they have a better understanding of their condition. We provide them with a detailed plan of their treatment in a language they can understand and trust,” said Smadar Kort, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Valve Center. Kort has board certifications in cardiovascular disease and echocardiology and is nationally and internationally known for her expertise in the field of echocardiography.
Another goal of the center is to improve the time from initial patient referral to diagnosis to treatment. Patients referred to the Valve Center will be seen within one week of referral. The time from diagnosis to treatment will be reduced by coordinating all tests and consultations into a single patient visit whenever possible.
The Valve Center will provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment options for our patients,” said Sandeep Gupta, Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, who serves as Co-Director of the Valve Center. “It capitalizes upon the longstanding experience and expertise of a team that has collectively performed more than 15,000 heart operations.”
Diagnostic services at the Valve Center include the Echocardiography Laboratory, which provides more than 13,000 imaging studies annually and is the only laboratory in Suffolk County with triple accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Diagnostic studies performed on site include 3D TTE (transthoracic echocardiogram), 3D TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram), and stress echocardiography.
Treatment options include genetic and nutritional counseling, medical therapy, and a full spectrum of surgical therapy, including mitral valve repair and aortic valve-sparing procedures for appropriate candidates.
Specialists at the Stony Brook University Heart Center will collaborate and communicate closely with the patient’s personal cardiologist and primary care physician in determining the treatment plan. When appropriate, patients may be referred to other services at the Heart Center, such as the 320-slice CT scanner and electrophysiology program.
Through collaboration with New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Stony Brook University Heart Center will also screen and refer patients for less invasive percutaneous therapeutic treatment options that are available only in selected centers nationwide.