Heart Valve Clinic | Center for Cardiac Care

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Published on December 31, 2017

Heart Valve Clinic

Heart Valve IllustrationThe new Heart Valve Clinic at Concord Hospital Cardiac Associates helps coordinate care for heart valve disease patients, from initial diagnosis to treatment and discharge from the Hospital.

A heart has four valves that regulate blood flow from the heart to the lungs and back to the heart before being pumped throughout the body. A heart valve disease affects how well blood flows through the heart.

Typically, a patient’s primary cardiologist refers a patient to the clinic for further assessment by a team of Cardiac Associates specialists. If a patient needs a valve replacement, the team performs tests to determine whether the patient can tolerate a traditional open heart replacement procedure or should undergo a transcatheter valve replacement, in which the new valve is threaded to the heart through a blood vessel.

Clinic coordinator Kerri Aramini makes sure each patient is routed appropriately in order to receive the most timely care.

“The Heart Valve Clinic team provides a collaborative approach that takes the patient through their entire process to valve surgery, with the same team members, in the same location, so patients are not traveling to different places,” Aramini said. “Everything can be done here at Concord Hospital, so they can stay close to home, close to their family and close to resources, including rehabilitation.”

Often, patients with a heart valve problem write off shortness of breath or fatigue to aging, or decide they have to live with their symptoms for fear they will not be able to tolerate open heart surgery. Part of Aramini’s job is to educate the community and medical providers that a comprehensive approach to heart valve problems exists at Concord Hospital, especially for older patients or those whose medical condition rules out traditional surgery.

“It’s not just old age,” Aramini said. “And you don’t have to be stuck with it.”
The transcatheter valve replacement not only saves lives, it restores a patient’s lifestyle.

“That’s the very essence of why we do what we do,” Aramini said, “to help give patients back their quality of life. That’s so important.”

Structural Heart Disease Clinic

The Structural Heart Disease Clinic, part of the Heart Valve Clinic, began seeing patients this spring. It serves patients with structural problems such as holes in the heart that could increase the risk for heart failure or stroke. As with heart valve replacement, specialists at Concord Hospital Center for Cardiac Care are repairing such defects with a catheter-based device, instead of traditional open-heart surgery. Patients treated with a catheter-based procedure typically spend two days in the Hospital, instead of five, and return to normal activities in a couple of weeks, instead of a couple of months.

Media Contact

Public Affairs
Concord Hospital
250 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 227-7000, ext. 4215