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Why Choose Penn Medicine

Penn cardiologists have treated valve disease with catheter-based valve replacements longer than doctors at any hospital in the Philadelphia region. Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) provides an option for patients who are not candidates for surgical valve replacement. 

Interventional cardiologists at Penn continue to lead the field in advanced use of transcatheter valve replacement. Clinical trials at Penn give patients access to innovative new therapies for mitral valve replacement and repair.

TMVR Treatment Overview 

Transcatheter mitral valve replacement allows cardiologists to treat severe mitral regurgitation or mitral stenosis without surgery. Using a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) inserted in a vein in your groin and expert imaging, your cardiologist guides a new valve to your heart. There it is placed in your existing mitral valve.

Penn offers two types of TMVR to treat mitral valve disease:

  • Valve-in-valve: This procedure replaces an existing prosthetic valve or ring for patients with a failing valve replacement or ring from a prior surgery.
  • Native valve replacement: Penn patients have access to this investigational treatment, which replaces the native (original) mitral valve in patients who have not had a previous heart valve replacement.

TMVR Procedure: What to Expect

During TMVR, a team of interventional cardiologists, imaging specialists and cardiac anesthesiologists work together to replace your mitral valve and ensure your safety. You’ll be under general anesthesia or conscious sedation for two to three hours. During the TMVR procedure, your cardiologist:

  • Inserts a catheter into the femoral vein in your groin. 
  • Uses advanced imaging to guide the catheter to your mitral valve.
  • Places the compressed heart valve on the catheter and positions it inside your mitral valve.
  • Expands the valve to secure it in place.
  • Removes the catheter from your blood vessel.

Our cardiac team will closely monitor your recovery and comfort. Expect to spend approximately three to five days in the hospital, possibly including at least one day in the intensive care unit (ICU). Your doctor will give you instructions about resuming or beginning medications after the procedure.

Benefits of TMVR

Nonsurgical mitral valve replacement has benefits compared to open-chest mitral valve replacement, including:

  • Less pain
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Immediate improvement of symptoms related to mitral valve disease
  • Less risk of medical complications
  • Quick return to normal activity

Cardiac Rehabilitation after TMVR

After replacing your mitral valve, your doctor may recommend cardiac rehabilitation. Our outpatient program provides personalized support along with the exercise, nutritional guidance and education needed for life after valve replacement.

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