Expert Replacement and Repair of Tiny Heart Valves
The heart has four valves. Normally, these valves open to let blood flow through or out of your heart, and then shut to keep it from flowing backward. But sometimes they don't work properly. Children born with heart valve problems benefit from the experience and compassion of the specialists in NewYork-Presbyterian's Congenital Heart Center. Our pediatric heart surgeons have published extensively and have pioneered many of the innovative surgical techniques used today to treat heart valve disease in children, including Ebstein's anomaly, aortic valve disease, and congenital mitral valve disease.
- Nationally Ranked: U.S.News & World Report has ranked our pediatric hospitals among the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, reflecting our reputation and excellent surgical outcomes, the expertise of our surgical teams, our high volume of cases, and other data related to patient care.
- Valve Repair versus Replacement: A valve repair is a more complicated surgery than a valve replacement, but the advantage is that your child retains his or her own valve. In young patients, the repaired valve grows with the child as he or she gets older. We will evaluate your child to determine whether valve repair or replacement is the most appropriate treatment.
- Hybrid Surgery for Valve Disease: The Congenital Heart Center is one of just a few U.S. centers to offer hybrid heart operations to infants and children. Hybrid heart surgery combines conventional open-heart surgery with minimally invasive, catheter-based interventional approaches. These less invasive alternatives use a smaller incision through the breast bone or right chest, with the advantage of less pain, no need for cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung machine), a faster return to normal activities, and a better cosmetic appearance after the procedure.
- Minimally Invasive Valve Repair and Replacement in Children: We evaluate your child to see if minimally invasive treatment options are possible. In some children, our interventional cardiologists use a catheter to repair or replace a diseased valve via an entry point in the groin. In other children, we can treat a valve disorder using a hybrid surgery approach to treat the valve with a single operation.
- Ross Procedure for Aortic Valve Replacement: If your child's aortic valve is so abnormal that we cannot effectively repair it, we may recommend a replacement through an operation called the Ross procedure. Our surgeons completed 28 of these procedures between 2009 and 2012. They are skilled in performing this technically demanding operation, in which your child's own normal pulmonary valve is used to replace the damaged aortic valve. The pulmonary valve is replaced with a homograft (human tissue) valve. Outcomes are excellent: Just 10 to 15 percent of children need another operation in 10 to 15 years because the new pulmonary valve degenerates (and we can replace it using catheter-based techniques), while even fewer need another surgery on the new aortic valve. At our hospital, the overall hospital discharge mortality rate following the Ross procedure was 3.52 percent (versus the 4.1 percent Society of Thoracic Surgeons national benchmark).
- Specialized Surgery for Atrioventricular Canal Defects: Atrioventricular (AV) canal defects are complicated lesions where the center of the septum (the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart) is missing. The mitral valve and tricuspid valve are fused in this malformation and are extremely abnormal. Surgery to repair an AV canal defect requires highly specialized and technical expertise, such as that found at the NewYork-Presbyterian Congenital Heart Center. As with other complex heart defects, the more often surgeons do these procedures, the better the results. Our surgeons performed 107 AV canal surgeries between 2009 and 2012, with a 0 percent overall hospital discharge mortality rate (versus the 2.8 percent STS national benchmark).