Why choose The University of Kansas Health System

  • U.S. News & World Report has ranked our cardiology and heart surgery program on its Best Hospitals list since 2007.
  • Our heart care center has higher levels of patient satisfaction and lower levels of mortality than national averages would predict.
  • The cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at The University of Kansas Health System have more options available for our patients, including minimally invasive alternatives.
  • Our heart surgery program has earned the 3-star quality rating, the highest available, from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Heart Valve Disorders

Many heart problems involve the heart valves - the critical "pipelines" that control blood flow in the heart. These valves open and close to keep blood moving in the right direction. With each squeeze, valves keep blood moving as efficiently as possible through the heart. A heart valve disorder occurs when blood flowing through the heart is compromised, causing the heart to work too hard. 

The Center for Advanced Heart Care's experienced cardiologists and surgeons diagnose and treat even the most complex heart valve conditions. We offer today's most advanced minimally invasive valve treatment options for people in Kansas City and beyond. Request your appointment online or call 913-588-1227 to schedule an appointment. 

About heart valve disorders

The heart has four valves that control blood flow: aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve. These valves can malfunction in two ways:

  • Regurgitation or leaking: The valve doesn't close completely. This causes blood to flow backward through the valve.
  • Stenosis or narrowing of the valve: The opening becomes narrow and limits blood flow.

These problems can happen separately or at the same time, and they can happen in more than one valve at a time. Both problems place additional stress on the heart and can lead to heart failure. 

Types of heart valve disorders

Heart valve disorders can be present at birth or develop over time. Some of the most common types of heart valve disorders include:

  • Mitral valve regurgitation
    This disease is characterized by the bulging of one or both of the mitral valve flaps during the contraction of the heart. One or both of the flaps may not close properly, allowing the blood to leak backward. This may result in a mitral regurgitation murmur. (This includes a spectrum of diseases including mitral valve prolapse, balloon mitral valve or floppy valve syndrome.)
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
    This congenital birth defect is characterized by an aortic valve that has only two leaflets (a normal aortic valve has three leaflets). If the valve becomes narrowed, it is more difficult for the blood to flow through, and often the blood leaks backward. Symptoms usually do not develop during childhood but are often detected during the adult years.
  • Mitral valve stenosis
    Often caused b a history of rheumatic fever, this condition is characterized by a narrowing of the mitral valve opening, increasing resistance to blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle.
  • Pulmonic valve disease: Regurgitation or stenosis
    This condition is characterized by a pulmonary valve that leaks or does not open sufficiently, causing the right ventricle to pump harder and enlarge. It is most often a consequence of surgery for congenital heart disease.
    Adult congenital heart disease is a broad topic that has a number of conditions primarily in young adults with previous congenital heart surgery.

Diagnosis and treatment

When you visit the Heart Valve Center, you'll receive complete testing and results on the day of your visit. You'll also meet with a cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon at the same time, in the same location and receive a comprehensive, individualized plan of care.

Learn more

    Understanding your diagnosis is vital to forming expectations about outcomes. We provide answers to ensure you know exactly what to expect before, during and after your procedure.
    If you have been diagnosed with a heart valve condition, our heart specialists can help you take an active role in your treatment and make informed decisions about your care plan. Find out more about the different treatments we offer.