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Valve Center

A new chapter in the diagnosis and treatment of heart valve disease has opened at Stony Brook Heart Institute. The Valve Center offers patients access to the most advanced care and technology available. Patients are seen by multiple heart specialists during the same visit and receive a personalized comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan at the completion of their evaluation.

Multispecialty Team Approach

At the core of the Valve Center is its multispecialty team approach to valve disease. During visits to the Valve Center, patients meet with an experienced team of valve disease specialists — all within one appointment. A cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon provide patients with the most comprehensive diagnostic assessment that leads to the best therapeutic option tailored to treat their specific valve disease. Additionally, a nurse practitioner meets with each patient to coordinate evaluation and treatment. By the end of their visit, patients are able to thoroughly understand their condition and have a detailed plan of their treatment.


Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Diagnostic Evaluation

Effective treatment begins with accurate diagnosis, and in this regard, Stony Brook's credentials are noteworthy. The Echocardiography Laboratory at Stony Brook Heart Institute, performing more than 13,000 imaging studies annually, is the only laboratory in Suffolk County that has triple accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, and is one of only 25 laboratories in the State of New York to hold this prestigious accomplishment.


Most Advanced Treatment Options

The Valve Center offers a comprehensive range of treatment options. These include medical therapy, a full spectrum of surgical therapy, and genetic and nutrition counseling. Our mitral valve repair rate for correctable lesions is 95 percent, which places Stony Brook Heart Institute among the top centers in the country for these repairs. In most cases, repairs are performed using a minimally invasive approach. Aortic valve-sparing procedures are also offered to appropriate candidates. Additionally, Stony Brook is one of a select number of sites in the United States to offer the new minimally invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for treating aortic stenosis.


Multispecialty Expertise

Widely respected specialists lead the Valve Center, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the program. In addition to their clinical knowledge, our physicians also conduct research and publish their findings in conjunction with the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.


Second Opinion Consultations

Our highly experienced valve team works with referring cardiologists, internists and primary care physicians to provide independent evaluations and recommendations, or otherwise partner with referring physicians, as requested.


Valve Education Made Easier

Illustrated patient education materials are available to help our patients better understand, track and monitor their valve condition. Our team of specialists walks patients through health management guides to further promote this understanding.


Exceptional Convenience

The Valve Center offers exceptional convenience to patients and referring physicians:

  • Fast and easy access. In most cases, patients are seen at the Valve Center within one week of referral. The Valve Center is also easy to find-located right off the Hospital's main lobby, in the Heart Institute.
  • Time-to-diagnosis and treatment is expedited. Diagnostic testing and consultations are all coordinated into one visit, saving the inconvenience and time required to schedule a series of appointments.
  • Diagnostic studies are performed on site. Comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, which may include 3D transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), 3D transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) and stress echo can be performed in the Stony Brook Heart Institute, adjacent to the Valve Center.
  • Excellent communication. Close collaboration between the Valve Center's dedicated team of specialists and each patient's personal cardiologist and primary care physician is a key element of the treatment plan.
  • Additional Heart Institute services are available. When clinically indicated and approved by the referring physician, patients may be referred to other state-of-the-art services provided at the Heart Institute, such as our highly recognized cardiovascular imaging and electrophysiology programs.


For More Information

To schedule an evaluation with our valve disease specialists, call the Stony Brook Valve Center at (631) 638-2101.

To learn more about Stony Brook Heart Institute and its many services, or for physician referrals and appointment scheduling, call (631) 44-HEART (444-3278).


Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers from the experts at the Valve Center to frequently asked questions about heart health and care of the valves.




Questions about Diagnosing Valve Disease:



Questions about Valve Surgery:







Q: How is valvular heart disease best diagnosed?

A: Echocardiography, which is an ultrasound exam of the heart, is often used when evaluating a patient with suspected or known valvular disease. It provides important information about the structure and function of the valves and of the heart muscle. Just like other ultrasound techniques, echocardiography is very safe. It is non-invasive, does not involve radiation, and is relatively fast to perform. Click here for more information about echocardiography.

Answered by Smada Kort, MD, a cardiologist, is professor of medicine and director of the Valve Center. She also is director of cardiovascular imaging and director of the echocardiography laboratory.


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Q: What other diagnostic tests may I need?

A: In addition to regular echocardiography, 3-dimensional echocardiogram may be used in order to provide more detailed anatomic picture of the heart. Some valvular pathology is better assessed using an echocardiogram probe mounted on a tube that is inserted into the stomach, in a test referred to as transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).

At Stony Brook Medicine, we have the ability to perform 3-dimensional TEE that provides more accurate and detailed information, and is available to be used whenever your doctors think it is indicated.

Sometimes a stress echocardiogram will be performed so your doctors can evaluate your functional capacity, assess your heart function during stress or evaluate for development of exertional symptoms. Other diagnostic tests may be necessary and could all be performed in our institution, including CT, MRI, or cardiac catheterization.

You can always be assured that our doctors will evaluate all the tests you already have had done, and will perform only those tests essential to fully understand your problem and guide treatment.

Answered by Smada Kort, MD, a cardiologist, is professor of medicine and director of the Valve Center. She also is director of cardiovascular imaging and director of the echocardiography laboratory.


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Q: How often do I need to have theses tests done?

A: Sometimes, depending on what our doctors find, they may recommend that you come back at a later point and repeat the echocardiogram and possibly also the stress test. This decision is based on the degree of your valvular disease, on your symptoms as well as other parameters such as the affect of the valvular disease on the heart muscle and pressures in the lungs. All these parameters would also be taken into consideration when deciding how often you come back for follow up and for repeat testing. The follow-up plan will be discussed with you during your visit to our Valve Center, as well as situations in which you should return for evaluation sooner.

Answered by Smada Kort, MD, a cardiologist, is professor of medicine and director of the Valve Center. She also is director of cardiovascular imaging and director of the echocardiography laboratory.


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Q: Can my mitral valve be repaired?

A: Yes. More than 90% of mitral valves can be repaired versus conventional mitral valve replacement. This will allow you to preserve your own tissue and preserve your heart function. Additionally, you will have less risk of infection and more long-term durability and improvement in your symptoms over the course of your lifetime.

Answered by Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr. Gupta is a cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. He is co-director of the Valve Center.


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Q: Can my valve be repaired with a minimally invasive procedure?

A: Yes. The majority of all isolated valve procedures can be done with a small incision. This will allow quicker recovery, less pain, and faster return to work.

Answered by Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr. Gupta is a cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. He is co-director of the Valve Center.


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Q: Can the robot be used to fix my valve?

A: Yes. In mitral valve surgery, we can use the latest in robotic technology to repair your valve. This allows the surgeon improved dexterity, visualization, and repair techniques to give you the best mitral valve repair. It also allows for a faster recovery, less pain, and quicker return to work.

Answered by Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr. Gupta is a cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. He is co-director of the Valve Center.


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Q: What are the risks of valve surgery?

A: The risks for isolated mitral valve repair or aortic valve surgery are minimal, and are similar to any surgery. They include the risk of bleeding, infection, pneumonia, organ failure, stroke, and even a small risk of death. In general, these complications are expected in less than 5% of patients. During your consultation, your surgeon can tell you what your specific risks are.

Answered by Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr. Gupta is a cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. He is co-director of the Valve Center.


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Q: How long will it take before I feel well after valve surgery?

A: For most patients who have valve surgery, it takes about 2-3 weeks to feel well, while some healing and recovery occur months thereafter. Actually, most patients typically feel better than before surgery once their valve is repaired. This should give you better quality of life.

Answered by Sandeep Gupta, MD. Dr. Gupta is a cardiothoracic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery. He is co-director of the Valve Center.


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Q: Are any non-surgical treatments available for valve problems?

A: Replacement of aortic valves without using open heart surgery is now done at a select number of hospitals, including Stony Brook University Hospital (click here). Treatments for mitral valve leakages have also been developed for patients considered too high a risk for surgery.

Answered by Luis Gruberg, MD. Dr. Gruberg, a cardiologist, is professor of medicine. He is director of Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratories.


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Our Team


Harold A. Fernandez, MD
Cardiothoracic Surgery


Luis Gruberg, MD
Interventional Cardiology


Sandeep Gupta, MD
Co-Director, Valve Center
Cardiothoracic Surgery


Allen Jeremias, MD
Interventional Cardiology


Smadar Kort, MD
Director, Valve Center
Cardiology


James R. Taylor Jr., MD
Cardiothoracic Surgery


The Stony Brook Heart Institute - The Valve Center

Contact:
Stony Brook Valve Center
Stony Brook Heart Institute
Nicolls Road and Health Sciences Drive intersection
Stony Brook, NY, 11794

Phone: (631) 638-2101