Bioprosthetic valve stenosis is a condition that in some cases necessitates the use of prosthetic tissue valves to replace the native aortic, mitral, tricuspid or pulmonic valves when they stop competently functioning. These valves are made from pig or cow tissue and typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years. In cases where these tissue valves begin failing and stop working well, surgical valve re-replacement surgery may be indicated. Some patients are not candidates for surgical valve re-replacement surgery based on their age and other complications, and in such cases a transcatheter valve-in-valve procedure may be performed.
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.
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