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Heart Valve Care

Why choose Ochsner for your heart valve disease treatment?

Every year, more than five million people in America are diagnosed with heart valve disease and structural heart disease. Fortunately, open heart surgery is no longer the only solution. The multi-disciplinary team at the Ochsner Heart Valve Center performs a high volume of both traditional open-heart surgery and minimally invasive trans-catheter valve repair and replacements. As one of the original TAVR centers, our team has as much experience as anyone in the world.

Across the country and here at Ochsner, this procedure is extending the lives of more patients who are high risk or inoperable surgically or who prefer a minimally invasive procedure to open surgery. Since the program’s inception, Ochsner has performed more than 2,000 TAVR cases and has been recognized for having one of the shortest lengths of stays and lowest risk of kidney damage in the nation for TAVR patients. What’s more, our outcomes are superior as recognized by U.S. News & World Report.

Our highly experienced team of cardiac surgeons has long been the referral center for the Gulf South for complex valvular heart disease and aortic aneurysm repair.

Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the proper direction: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic. With heart valve disease, one or more of the valves in your heart doesn't open and/or close as it should, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body.


While signs and symptoms of a heart valve disorder may not appear for many years, they may include:

  • Exertional chest discomfort
  • Exertional shortness of breath
  • Dizziness and/or fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Heart murmur
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet


Heart valve disease can cause complications, such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Stroke
  • Death

Heart Valve Problems

Heart valve problems may occur with any of the four heart valves, whether native valves or artificial valves, and may include:

  1. Regurgitation (or backflow) – Occurs when a valve doesn't close tightly. Blood leaks back into the chambers when it should flow forward through the heart or into an artery. This happens most often as a result of prolapse. Prolapse is when the flaps of the valve flop or bulge back into an upper heart chamber during a heartbeat.
  2. Stenosis – Occurs if the flaps of a valve thicken, stiffen or fuse together, preventing the valve from fully opening and allowing enough blood to flow through.
  3. Infection - Occurs when a valve lacks an opening, making it impossible for blood to pass through.
  4. Paravalvular Leak—Occurs when an artificial valve has a leak around the suture line or stent that holds it in place.


Factors that can increase your risk of developing heart valve disease include:

  • Advanced age
  • Certain forms of heart disease
  • A prior heart attack
  • Congenital heart disease (present at birth)
  • Congenital heart failure
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Previous infections that can affect the heart

Patients come from all over the Gulf South and beyond, seeking treatment for the following conditions:

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent foramen ovale (PFO)
  • Aortic stenosis (AS) and regurgitation
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Complex combined coronary artery and valvular heart disease
  • Failing artificial heart valves
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Mitral stenosis and regurgitation
  • Pulmonary stenosis and regurgitation
  • Tricuspid stenosis and regurgitation

Diagnostic tests we perform at the Ochsner Heart Valve Center

The Ochsner Heart Valve Center team has access to cutting-edge diagnostic equipment and is highly skilled on how to use it.

  • We are home to the Gulf South regions’ only cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (Cardiac MRI) – a state-of-the-art, radiation-free test that lets our doctors see inside your body without having to perform surgery.

We also offer:

  • Cardiac catheterization and stenting
  • Cardiac CTA (coronary computed tomography angiography, non-invasive angiograms)
  • Intra-cardiac ultrasound

Your treatment will depend on which heart valve or valves are affected as well as on the type and severity of your valve disease.

Non-surgical procedures we perform, include:

  • Transfemoral and transcaval balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Balloon mitral valvuloplasty (BMV), transcatheter mitral valve repair (MitraClip) andtranscatheter tricuspid valve repair (TriClip)
  • Pulmonic valve balloon and replacement
  • Percutaneous mitral ring
  • Failing bioprosthetic valve replacement
  • Transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement
  • Paravalvular leak repair
  • Atrial appendage occlusion (Amulet and Watchman devices)
  • Alcohol ablation for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM)
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO), atrial septal defect (ASD), VSD and intracardiac shunt repair

Surgical procedures we perform, include:

  • Ascending aorta and aortic root
  • Aortic, mitral, and tricuspid valve repair and replacement
  • Pulmonary valve repair and replacement
  • MAZE and LAA exclusion for afib
  • Septal myomectomy for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM)
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD), VSD, Pulmonic Valve
  • Pulmonary thromboembolectomy
  • Transcatheter Procedures: TA, TAx, TAo TAVR and TMVR

The skilled, knowledgeable team at the Ochsner Heart Valve Center has a combined 180 years of experience. The team is comprised of interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, electrophysiologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, adult cardiothoracic anesthesiology and specially trained and experienced cardiac critical care nurses. We also coordinate with professionals in other subspecialties.

This is a care team that truly cares and is here to answer all your questions. Our Spanish-speaking patients find comfort knowing they can be treated by doctors and nurses who speak their language.

Stephen Spindel, MD, FACS

Merrill Stewart, MD, FACC

Joseph Englert, MD

Salima Qamruddin, MD, FACC

Yvonne Gilliland, MD, FACC

Jose David Tafur Soto, MD, FACC, FSCAI

P. Eugene Parrino, MD, FACS

J. Stephen Jenkins, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FSVM

Jason Falterman, MD, FASA

Aditya Bansal, MD

Paul Rogers, MD

Clement Eiswirth, MD

Selim Krim, MD

Monica Prechac, RN

Candace White, RN

Eight Superb Cardiac Anesthesiologists

If you have a heart murmur, your primary care physician may recommend you visit a cardiologist. If your symptoms suggest a heart valve disorder, your cardiologist may refer you to the Ochsner Heart Valve Center.

If you’d like to speak to a cardiology nurse who can assist you with making an appointment, call 504-842-3724.​

Ochsner is the leading heart valve referral center in the Gulf South. We pride ourselves on collaborating with referring cardiologists freely, openly, and honestly. Your input is invaluable to us.

Our Process:

  • Our nurse coordinators will schedule all necessary testing on one day, such as lab work, Echo, TTE, CTA, PFT’s, Frailty, STS score and a heart valve team evaluation.
  • The heart valve teams will review all pertinent information and evaluate the patient.
  • Often, a treatment plan can be presented before the patient leaves the Ochsner Heart Valve Center.

Mail or Fed-Ex:

Gayle and Tom Benson Heart Valve Center
1514 Jefferson Hwy.
New Orleans, LA 70121



Frequently Asked Questions

This depends, of course, on the kind of procedure you have.

Some transcatheter procedures are done as outpatient, same day discharge procedures including Mitraclip, Pascal and Watchman device implantations. Transfemoral TAVR generally requires one night in the hospital, because it is done without surgery. If a surgical incision is needed for TAVR, it will require 1-5 nights in the hospital.

While many people feel relief from symptoms immediately, it takes a few weeks for others. Your doctor will be able to tell you what to expect.

This depends on several factors, including the type of surgery you had and how well you’re healing. Again, your doctor will give you instructions.

That depends on several variables your doctor will be happy to discuss with you. To assess heart valve function, we recommend an annual echocardiogram and check-up.

Your doctor and the team will let you know what, if any, medications you will have to take.

Always make your dentist and others doctors aware that you have had heart valve surgery. You may need to take antibiotics before certain procedures to help prevent valve infection.

Below, you'll find an educational video for patients undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement at Ochsner Medical Center.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Heart Valve Center

Heart Valve Center Locations

Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7