Harold Roberts, MD

Heart Valve Surgery Near Miami, FL

Surgery to repair or replace heart valves is performed to restore normal blood flow to, through and from the heart. Depending upon a diagnosis and other factors, this surgery can be performed as a minimally invasive or as an open surgical procedure. Some conditions that can indicate the need for heart valve repair or replacement include:

  • A valve that does not close fully, allowing blood to leak backwards (regurgitation)
  • A valve that does not open fully limiting forward blood flow (stenosis)
  • Defects that cause major heart symptoms such as chest pain (angina), shortness of breath, fainting spells (syncope), or heart failure
  • Changes in valve performance that affect heart function
  • Replacement or repair of a valve at the same time open heart surgery is being performed for another reason
  • A valve damaged by infection of the valve (endocarditis)
  • A new valve replaced in the past that is not working well or causing other problems such as clotting, infection, or bleeding

Heart valve repair and replacement In Aventura, Fl

Depending upon the condition of your heart valve, Dr. Roberts may elect to repair it or replace it. The heart valves involved in these procedures include:

  • Aortic valve
  • Mitral valve
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonary valve

Heart valve repair north of Miami

Using techniques learned from master valve surgeons, most notably Alain Carpentier, the vast majority of leaking mitral and tricuspid valves can be repaired by Dr. Roberts. Some of the techniques used include:

  • Ring annuloplasty. Involves repairing the ring-like part around the valve by sewing a ring of metal, plastic, and/or cloth around the valve. Dr. Roberts uses both flexible and rigid rings, depending on the clinical situation.
  • Valve repair. Involves trimming, shaping, or rebuilding one or more of the leaflets of the valve. The leaflets are the flaps that open and close the valve. Dr. Roberts has over 20 years experience in often very complex valve reconstruction. His repair rate for prolapsing mitral valves approaches 100%. This is important to the patient in that the survival and quality of life is generally superior for patients with repaired rather than replaced mitral valves. Experience
    and large case loads allow Dr. Roberts to repair many valves that would otherwise be replaced.

Heart valve replacement by Doctor Harold Roberts

If the heart valve is seriously damaged, Dr. Roberts will remove it and replace it. Generally, these are aortic valves or mitral valves that are damaged by rheumatic fever or heavy calcification. The main types of new replacement valves include:

  • Mechanical. Made of man-made materials, such as metal (stainless steel or titanium) or ceramic, these valves last the longest, but require patients to take a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, for the rest of their life to prevent blood clotting.
  • Biological. Made of human or animal tissue, these valves last 15-20 years, but generally don’t require using blood thinners for the rest of your life.
  • Homografts. Donated human aortic valves that are used in select cases. These are generally reserved for patients with advanced infections of their aortic valves.
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). For high risk, elderly patients, this exciting new technology is offered by Dr. Roberts and his team of interventional valve surgeons (Drs. David, Llanos, Niederman, and Purow) of the Holy Cross Valve Clinic. It allows replacement of the aortic valve via tiny stab wounds, and without use of the heart lung machine.

Minimally invasive and open heart surgical approaches in southern Florida

Depending upon your condition and other factors, Dr. Roberts can elect to perform your heart valve repair or replacement as either an open or minimally invasive procedure. In both cases you will need to be placed on a heart-lung by-pass machine during the surgery to do the work of your heart while it is stopped.

Open surgery, Requires a large surgical cut in your breastbone to reach the heart and the valve(s) requiring treatment.

Minimally invasive surgery. Done through much smaller cuts than open surgery, or through a catheter inserted through the skin. Several different techniques can be used and include:

  • Minithoracotomy. This entails about a 2 inch incision in the right chest that is generally used for replacement of the aortic or mitral valves.
  • TAVR (see above)
  • Robotic endoscopic surgery. This approach is ideal for patients leaky mitral valves, certain holes in the heart, tumors of the heart, as well as patients seeking
    a reliable cure of their atrial fibrillation. Using the Davinci-S robot, Dr. Roberts generally does these procedures via an 18 mm (2/3’s inch) stab wound in the right chest.

To learn more, Contact Dr. Harold Roberts at 786.428.1059