The Penn Medicine Advantage

Care for bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD) involves lifelong surveillance and specialized treatment. Penn Medicine is the only health system in the Philadelphia region to offer a comprehensive program specifically for patients with BAVD and associated thoracic aortic aneurysm.

At the Center for Bicuspid Aortic Valve Diseases, you’ll find:

  • Excellent outcomes: Penn surgeons perform the highest number of valve surgeries in Pennsylvania, leading to the best possible outcomes for patients.
  • Innovative treatment: For select patients with BAVD, Penn’s renowned surgeons conduct procedures other hospitals can’t, such as surgical repair of bicuspid aortic valves. 
  • Genetic screening: In collaboration with our genetics team, we provide screening for all first-degree relatives (parents and siblings) of patients diagnosed with BAVD.
  • Multidisciplinary team: Our dedicated team of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists, geneticists and advanced practice providers work together to treat every aspect of BAVD and associated aortic aneurysm.
  • Timely care: We conduct comprehensive clinical evaluations and monitoring. We can usually offer you an appointment with one of our specialists within two weeks.

What is Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease? 

In BAVD, the aortic valve has only two cusps (or flaps) instead of three. This deformity, which is congenital (present at birth) keeps the valve from functioning properly. With age, a bicuspid valve may lead to additional heart conditions including:

Bicuspid aortic valve occurs in 2 percent of the population. It can run in families and is found in up to 15 percent of first-degree relatives of people with the condition. A bicuspid valve may function for years without causing symptoms or obvious signs of a problem. Early diagnosis can lead to improved long-term outcomes for patients.

Treatment for Bicuspid Aortic Valve Diseases

Approximately 80 percent of patients with BAVD require valve repair or replacement at some point. Penn’s cardiac surgery and imaging experts monitor your disease regularly with advanced imaging techniques. If there are changes to your valve or aorta, the cardiac team creates an individualized treatment plan.

Our academic surgeons treat BAVD and associated aortic aneurysm disease with procedures including:

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