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Why should you receive treatment
at the AMC Valvular Heart Disease Center?

Valvular heart disease is a condition that heart valves do not open or close properly. A valve having a functional problem with the opening are called stenosis and the valves opening properly, but does not close tightly, causing blood reflux is called insufficiency. The heart has four chambers and four valves. Even though heart has four chambers and four valves, clinical problems mostly occur in the mitral valve and the aortic valves. The cause of the valvular disease may be congenital, sometimes accompanied by structural abnormalities from birth, but this is a rare phenomenon. In most cases, the normally-working valves become functionally disordered as a structural lesion occurs.

Close collaboration among related specialties is essential in valvular disease treatment at all stages of diagnosis and treatment to postoperative monitoring and follow-up care. The optimal drug therapy or the best timing for procedures and surgery is also determined after discussion by relevant departments. AMC Valvular Heart Disease Center achieved an over 90% success rate in heart valve repair and significantly reduced the length of hospital stay through minimally-invasive surgeries. Furthermore, the center produced great results in the treatment of mitral stenosis and aortic stenosis using percutaneous intervention without any incision in the chest through coordinated collaboration.

AMC Valvular Heart Disease Center also has an echocardiography unit with cutting-edge medical equipment and professional staffs. In this unit equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, every examination process is saved in a digital image storage system in real time. It allows for instant comparison of data with previous test results, enabling accurate monitoring of disease progression.

Treatment options

 

The basic treatment of valvular diseases is to fix the ill valve that does not open and close properly. The most common treatment approach is valve replacement that involves opening the heart to remove the diseased valve and placing an artificial valve here. The type of artificial valve is determined based on a patient’s age, sex, and condition. After valve replacement, regular examination and drug administration are also needed. The recently introduced valvoplasty is designed to repair the ill valve instead of replacement. Valvoplasty is far easier than prosthetic valve replacement to manage a patient’s postoperative conditions.

 

It is sometimes performed by open heart surgery, but often by percutaneous mitral valvoplasty (PMV) on mitral stenosis patients. A balloon is inserted and passed through the blood vessel and inflated to widen the narrowed valve. This procedure can achieve the desired effect without using general anesthesia or cardiotomy. Determining the best timing of treatment is most important for valvular diseases. In other words, it is inappropriate to hastily decide on surgery due to simple valve malfunction since there are surgery-related risks and problems to be considered. There are instances where symptoms can be relieved simply by medication using compensatory mechanism. Therefore, it is important to receive cardiologist or cardiac surgeon’s guidance when deciding the right timing or type of surgical approach (replacement or valvoplasty).

AMC’s treatment performance

Minimally-invasive valve surgery using a speech recognition robot and da Vinci robots.

  • 2,000 robotic surgeries performed (accumulated)
  • 400 minimally-invasive surgeries performed (accumulated)