The heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, but when it is not working as it should, it's important to seek medical help. Catholic Health's Heart Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo continues to set the standard for advanced, patient-centered cardiac care, with its newest addition - a comprehensive heart Valve Center.
"Some people can live with heart valve defects throughout their lives without experiencing significant problems, while others can develop symptoms that worsen over time," said Joseph Gelormini, MD, medical director of Cardiovascular Services for Catholic Health. "For these people, if left untreated, heart valve disease can lead to heart failure, stroke, blood clots or sudden cardiac arrest."
Catholic Health's Valve Center has developed a multidisciplinary team approach to evaluate and treat all forms of heart valve disease. Led by a skilled and experienced team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, the center offers minimally invasive treatment options, surgical valve replacements or repairs, and other advanced procedures like Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR.
TAVR is used to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis - a narrowing of the heart's aortic valve - who are too sick for traditional heart surgery. During the procedure, a small catheter is used to place a new aortic valve within the damaged valve to more effectively regulate blood flow in the heart.
"TAVR is the latest advancement in non-surgical valve replacement," said Stephen Downing, MD, associate chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Catholic Health Heart Center at Mercy Hospital. "For many patients, TAVR provides a new, less invasive treatment option to restore normal heart function, where no hope for improvement previously existed."
The new valve center team consists of interventional cardiologists Joseph Gelormini and Nadeem Haq; cardiac surgeons Stephen Downing and Mark Adkins; Cardiac CT radiologist Gerald Joyce, MD; echocardiography imaging specialist Aravind Herle, MD; and anesthesiologists Gregory Tobias, MD, and George Reid Bancroft, MD.
Members of the team agree that, "With resources like these, there's no need to go outside of the area for advanced cardiac care. Big things are happening at Catholic Health."
The Catholic Health Valve Center is located in the Marian Professional Building, 515 Abbott Road, Suite 310, Buffalo.
To learn more or make an appointment call Catholic Health Valve Coordinator Gail Markowski, NP, at 716-923-9650 or visit chsbuffalo.org.