The Penn Medicine Difference

When the time comes to have your heart valve repaired or replaced, look to Penn Medicine's nationally recognized surgeons and cardiologists. We are the largest transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program in the region. We also rank as high-performing in aortic valve surgery according to U.S. News & World Report. With Penn treating your heart valve disease, you'll find:

  • Experience and expertise in catheter-based therapies: Penn's interventional cardiologists were among the first in the nation to use catheter-based procedures like MitraClip™ and TAVR. Now we are exploring additional uses for these innovative procedures.
  • Access to the newest treatments: Researchers participate in many clinical trials, leading to our reputation as early adopters of advanced catheter-based procedures.
  • Complex surgical repairs: Our experts successfully repair valves with challenging issues that other regional hospitals can't treat. Our repair rate for complex mitral valves is near 100 percent.
  • Minimally invasive surgery options: As the largest valve disease program in the mid-Atlantic, Penn offers the newest techniques for minimally invasive heart surgery, including robotic surgery for mitral and tricuspid valve disease.
  • Hybrid operating rooms: We use state-of-the-art operating rooms to perform hybrid aortic surgery. Patients who require both surgery and catheter-based treatment can have both procedures in the same setting.
  • High safety standards: Our TAVR team was integral in the FDA approval of the Sentinel™ Cerebral Protection System (CPS), which protects patients undergoing TAVR from stroke. This system is now part of our safety protocol.

Heart Valve Treatment at Penn

At Penn, we offer both surgical and nonsurgical (catheter-based) options for heart valve replacement and repair. Whenever possible, our surgeons and cardiologists will repair your heart valve instead of replacing it. Heart valve repair retains your valve's strength and function. It also comes with a lower risk of infection and reduces your need to take lifelong blood-thinning medications.

Heart Valve Surgery

Penn performs the most heart valve surgeries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. We deliver high success and low complication rates, even when treating high-risk and elderly patients. Our skilled surgeons use minimally invasive heart surgery, including robotic techniques, whenever possible to reduce pain and recovery time. We surgically repair and replace:

Cardiac Catheterization

Catheter-based heart valve repair and replacement provides a nonsurgical option for patients, especially when surgery is not ideal. During these procedures, our interventional cardiologist inserts a thin flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your groin or arm. The catheter is advanced to your heart and used to replace or repair the valve.

Penn offers innovative catheter-based procedures to treat heart valve disease, including:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty, for treatment of stenosis in mitral, aortic and pulmonary valves. Penn performs more balloon valvuloplasty procedures for mitral valve stenosis than any hospital in the region.
  • Paravalvular leak closure, which is used to correct leaks that may occur in the space between natural heart tissue and a prosthetic valve in people who've already had a valve replaced.
  • MitraClip™, which is a device that repairs mitral regurgitation. In 2003, we performed the second MitraClip procedure in the country. We are currently investigating how this procedure can be used to repair other heart valve disease, such as tricuspid valve disease.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is a technique used by our interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons since 2007. We are one of the top five TAVR programs in the country, performing more than 600 procedures a year for aortic stenosis.
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR), where a new valve is placed in a previously replaced mitral valve that is failing.
  • Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (TPVR), which is used to replace a failing pulmonary valve after prior congenital surgery.

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