The Center for Bicuspid Aortic Valve Diseases provides comprehensive clinical evaluations and monitoring for patients with bicuspid aortic valve and associated aortic aneurysm disease. As the largest heart valve program in the Philadelphia and mid-Atlantic region, Penn Medicine performs more cardiac surgeries than any other hospital in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and is leading the way in new options for heart valve repair and replacement.
What is Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease (BAVD)?
The aortic valve is a one-way valve between the heart and the aorta, the main artery from the heart that distributes oxygen-rich blood to the body. Normally, the aortic valve has three small flaps or leaflets that open widely and close securely to regulate blood flow, allowing blood to flow from the heart to the aorta and preventing blood from flowing backwards into the heart.
In bicuspid aortic valve disease, the valve has only two leaflets. With this deformity, the valve doesn’t function perfectly, but it may function adequately for years without causing symptoms or obvious signs of a problem.
Bicuspid aortic valve may be an inherited condition, occurring in up to 15% of first-degree relatives. Recent studies have shown that first-degree relatives may also have an aortic enlargement in the absence of a BAVD. Screening is recommended for all first-degree relatives (such as parents and siblings) of a person diagnosed with BAVD. Early diagnosis can lead to proper management and improved long-term outcomes for patients.
What We Offer Our Patients?
- Prompt and coordinated clinical evaluations and long term surveillance for bicuspid aortic valve disease
- Complex bicuspid aortic valve repair and root reconstruction procedures by expert surgeons
- Capacity to offer an appointment within 2 weeks with one of our specialist
- Coordination of care with your local physicians, including updates on your care and progress
- BAVD experts provide careful monitoring and evaluation, through the use of advanced imaging modalities, establishing the most effective treatment
- An invitation for your first-degree relatives to participate in the program due to the hereditary nature of BAVD with the availability of combined surgical and genetic visits
- Our specialists have more experience in performing the latest minimally invasive aortic valve procedures
- Access to ongoing, state-of-the-art research specifically for BAVD patients and their families
- Dedicated team of surgeons, cardiologist, radiologist and advanced practice providers who provide individualized treatment for patients and their families with BAVD
You can contact at 1-877-PENNBAV or PENNBAV@pennmedicine.upenn.edu to receive prompt, direct access to our clinical program manager.
Why Our Program Is Unique?
We are the only multidisciplinary team in the region to provide comprehensive care for our patients with bicuspid aortic valve and associated aortic aneurysm disease. We are proud to perform a high volume of procedures each year, leading to the best possible outcomes for patients. Here at Penn, we offer a variety of approaches not commonly available at other medical centers.
Our team is made up of cardiac surgeons, specializing in aortic valve and aortic aneurysm surgery, cardiologists, radiologists, geneticists and advanced practice providers work together to create a treatment and management plan that is made for you. Whenever possible we repair your existing valve, and when valve replacement is necessary, we carefully consider all options to select the type of heart valve and procedure that is best for you. Additionally, in collaboration with our genetics team, appointments are available for BAVD patients and their family for screening.
Through the Center for Bicuspid Aortic Valve Diseases, we work with the cardiologists and surgeons that refer patients to us. This allows open communication and collaboration from diagnosis to treatment, follow-up and beyond. Your care team will focus on what is most important: getting you back to the things you love.