Leaky or stenosed mitral valves are two of the most common heart valve defects. "They often remain undetected for years, but with progressive heart disease can then lead to dyspnea, reduced exercise capacity and dysrhythmia", says Professor Dr. Volker Rudolph, Director of the Clinic for General and Interventional Cardiology/Angiology at the Herz- und Diabeteszentrum NRW (HDZ NRW), Bad Oeynhausen. Treatment strategies comprise drug therapy, valve replacement or a reconstruction of the diseased valve. "Our cardiac team decides on the most suitable treatment in each case, in agreement with the patient", emphasizes Rudolph, who as a member of the German Cardiac Society helped to develop guidelines for catheter-based procedures in conjunction with mitral valve diseases. The HDZ NRW is now officially certified as one of just eight mitral valve centers in Germany.
Mitral valve interventions are performed at the HDZ NRW not only by the interventional cardiologists under Professor Rudolph. The Clinic for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Director: Prof. Dr. Jan Gummert) also has a wealth of experience at its disposal, with one of the largest mitral valve surgery programs in the country.
"The mutual cooperation between these two Clinics is particularly important here, in order to provide patients with the individually most suitable therapy following careful consideration of all the relevant factors", Rudolph explains. Extensive experience with disease courses and conduction of state-of-the-art functional echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations also contribute to the cardiac specialists being able to plan the best possible treatment strategy for each patient. The certificate awarded by the DGK is sound confirmation of this.
Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen
Universitätsklinik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
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