Am I able to seek in-person care at my doctor's office or at the hospital? If so, is it safe?

Yes, our offices are open to provide you high-quality care in person from our cardiac specialists. The health and safety of our patients, families and staff is our top priority. We know that COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future, so we’re taking a comprehensive approach to provide you and your loved ones the safest possible environment. Read our Safe Care Commitment.

Are visitors allowed as the hospital reopens?

We welcome visitors to provide support to their loved one while they are receiving care. Read our latest Visitor Policy

Am I able to begin or continue my cardiac care during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, our cardiac specialists are seeing patients with Virtual Visits and in person office visits.

If I have a heart or valve condition, am I at higher risk for getting COVID-19?

COVID-19 poses a greater risk to individuals who have underlying health conditions, including cardiovascular disease. You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by practicing physical distancing, keeping away from people who are sick, cleaning your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands, cleaning surfaces you touch frequently, and taking advantage of Virtual Visits for your care. If you have concerns or specific questions about your individual risk, our cardiac specialists are available to discuss care during COVID-19 with Virtual Visits.  

I’ve been told I’m not a candidate for treatment, what are my options?

We often see patients who have been told there’s nothing that can be done, or they aren’t good candidates for interventions. We pride ourselves in finding the right treatment plan based on each patient’s unique needs and health and having the diagnostic and clinical expertise to provide the right care for the right patient at the right time. Call 857-307-6048 or request a Virtual Visit to speak with one of our clinicians.

What are the treatment options for heart valve disease?

There are three main treatment options for valve disease:

Medication: Some types of heart valve disease can be managed with medication, however many patients may also need surgery to repair or replace the valve.

Heart valve repair: In some cases, valves can be surgically repaired so they open and close more efficiently. This is done either with a ring annuloplasty, to tighten the ring around the valve, or with valve repair to reconstruct the damaged or weakened flaps, muscles and tendons that open and close the heart valves.

Valve replacement: This is surgery to replace the diseased valve with a mechanical valve or one made with animal tissue, called a bioprosthetic or biologic valve. Many valve replacements are done with minimally invasive techniques, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which allow patients smaller incisions and shorter recovery time. Our Heart & Vascular Center is home to one of the largest TAVR programs in the country for high-risk patients.

Other surgeries for complex aortic valve repair and replacement include the root-enlarging procedure, aortic root replacement, valve-sparing root surgery, stented biological aortic valve replacement and stentless biologic aortic valve replacement. We also offer hybrid approaches that combine minimally-invasive and surgical procedures in the hybrid operating room for more complex aortic valve repair and replacement.

Your clinical team will work with you to determine which procedure is best for you.

Am I eligible for the TAVR procedure?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve in high-risk patients with severe aortic valve stenosis who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery. We offer clinical trials to expand TAVR to other patients, including those who are at low-risk and those who have severe aortic stenosis with no symptoms. Call 857-307-6048 or schedule a Virtual Visit to speak with one of our clinicians and find out if TAVR is right for you.

How long does heart valve replacement surgery take?

A typical valve replacement surgery will last four to six hours.  A TAVR procedure typically takes about 90 minutes.

What is the recovery like after having a heart valve replaced?

Your recovery depends on the type of surgery you have. TAVR offers a faster recovery due to the use of sedation instead of general anesthesia. You will not need to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery and will be up, alert and eating the same day. Most patients are discharged within 48 hours, with instructions to avoid lifting anything heavy for a week.

Recovery from other valve repair and replacement surgeries can vary depending on your health before the procedure. You can expect to stay in the hospital for about a week and will need to rest and limit your activities for several weeks after your surgery. Your clinical team will discuss any special diet or exercise instructions with you before you are discharged. You may also be referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program after your surgery, which is available in Boston and at our satellite locations.

What is the life expectancy after heart valve replacement?

Life expectancy varies depending on the type of valve replacement and your age. Studies show survival rates for those with an aortic heart valve replacement is 84 percent after 10 years; 68.5 percent after 10 years for those with mitral valve replacement; and 80.9 percent after both aortic and mitral valve replacement.

How long does a heart valve replacement last?

The lifespan of a valve varies depending on the type of valve. Tissue valves can last 10 to 20 years, while mechanical valves can last up to 25 years.

Can heart valve replacements cause atrial fibrillation?

Some patients can develop atrial fibrillation (Afib) after heart valve surgery. It is important to treat atrial fibrillation promptly because the condition can worsen over time as the heart muscles weaken. If you do develop Afib, the specialists from our Heart Rhythm Disorders Program can create an individualized treatment plan for you based on your age, overall health, and other factors. Treatment for Afib may include medications or interventions. Call or request an appointment to speak with a clinician at 857-307-6048.

How do I make an appointment?

Providers at the Heart & Vascular Center are currently offering Virtual Visits for all types of appointments. Please call 857-307-6048 or request a Virtual Visit.

Can I get a second opinion?

Our clinicians in the Heart & Vascular Center are available and willing to offer second opinions. We understand when you or a family member is experiencing health challenges, finding the right path forward can feel challenging. We’re here to help. Our team of clinicians will evaluate your condition and advise you on a course of action.

How do I refer a patient to the Heart & Vascular Center?

If you’d like to refer a patient to the Heart & Vascular Center, please call us at 857-307-6048 and we will connect you with the appropriate division or clinician. You can also connect with our physician liaison team at 617-582-4733.

Request an Appointment

We are steadfast in our commitment to treating you in the safest possible environment and are seeing patients both in person and through virtual visits. To request an appointment, please call 857-307-6048 Monday - Friday, 8am-5pm ET or complete the form to receive a callback.

 
 

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