Valve Center

When your doctor suspects you have heart valve disease, you want the expertise of multiple heart specialists so that you receive a thorough evaluation and treatment plan tailored to your needs. At the Stony Brook Valve Center, patients have 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. Conventional treatment has been to replace a patient’s faulty mitral valve with a tissue valve, which can eventually wear out and require future surgery, or with a mechanical device that means the patient will have an increased risk for blood clots and stroke, and must take blood thinners for life. At Stony Brook, we have been performing mitral valve repair — not replacement. This minimally invasive procedure uses a patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the mitral valve, reducing stroke risk and reducing or eliminating the need for long-term blood thinners. Most importantly, long-term outcomes with mitral valve repair have been shown to be superior to replacement, increasing life expectancy and quality of life. Stony Brook Heart Institute currently performs mitral valve repair procedures for more than 95 percent of appropriate patients. This places Stony Brook Heart Institute among the top performing centers in the country for valve surgery.

Additionally, Stony Brook is one of a select number of sites in the United States to offer the advanced 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.

Our team includes:

  • Cardiovascular Imaging:
    Smadar Kort, MD, Director, Valve Center, Cardiology
  • Interventional Cardiologists:
    Puja Parikh, MD
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons:
    Joanna Chikwe, MD, Director, Heart Institute and Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery
    Thomas Bilfinger, MD
    Allison McLarty, MD
    Vinay Tak, MD
    Henry Tannous, MD


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).

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).