COVID-19: Up-to-date information on patient visitation, FAQs, donations and more. Learn More

Heart Valve Team

We're giving high-risk heart patients a second chance at life.

The University of Louisville Physicians Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is a leading-edge team of cardiovascular specialists dedicated to developing and performing advanced cardiovascular treatments for valvular heart disease in patients at high risk for conventional surgical valve repair/replacement. These treatments save lives and restore hope in patients that would otherwise have few or no other options. Rapidly evolving innovations in the treatment of valve disease continues to drive that growth.

The University of Louisville Physicians Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, acts as the one stop for treatment of all patients with valvular heart disease.


The University of Louisville Physicians Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, treats aortic stenosis with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

What is aortic stenosis?

Each year, more than 200,000 Americans suffer from severe aortic stenosis. Studies determined more than one in eight people age 75 and older have moderate or severe aortic stenosis.

Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that obstructs normal blood flow. This condition can result from infection, a congenital defect, rheumatic heart disease or, most commonly, from age-related degeneration of the valve.

When the valve narrowing becomes severe it can be life threatening. Overtime, the leaflets become stiff, reducing the pliability of the valve. When this happens, the heart must work harder to push blood through a restricted opening (often no larger than a drinking straw) to the rest of the body. Overtime, the heart becomes weaker, increasing the risk of heart muscle failure.

The transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) approach is a minimally invasive way to replace the aortic valve and restore the heart's normal function.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

For patients with aortic valve stenosis and who have at a greater risk for traditional open heart surgery, a procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be a treatment option. TAVR allows the aortic valve to be replaced, and like open heart surgery, TAVR produces results in lengthening patients' lives.

This less invasive procedure allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve. The TAVR procedure can be performed through multiple approaches (transfemoral, transapical or transaortic).

Percutaneous Transfemoral (groin) TAVR approach: A new valve is inserted through an artery accessed via a small incision in the leg.

Transapical TAVR approach: The incision point is between the ribs under the breast.

Transaortic TAVR approach: Access is gained through a small incision (about three inches) in the breast bone.

How does it work?

TAVR is uniquely suited to older patients because it uses the hardening, common in older hearts, to hold the new valve in place. A catheter carries the tiny valve (about 10 mm) to the aorta, where it is inserted after a small incision is made (using one of the approaches above). UofL Physicians Heart Valve Team uses state-of-the-art imaging to guide the catheter to the heart. Once there, a tiny balloon inflates to squeeze the valve into place.

Two types of valves can be used in the TAVR procedure. One is the Edwards SAPIEN XT, shown above. Learn more about the Edwards valve by clicking here. The other is the Medtronic Core Valve, shown at the left. Learn more about the Core Valve by clicking here.

Our specially trained team performs these procedures in our new state-of-the-art hybrid catheterization suite at the KentuckyOne Health Rudd Heart & Lung Center. Our TAVR team is comprised of cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, valve coordinator, anesthesiologist and cardiovascular surgeons. These experts can provide focused assessments and treatment options for patients with complex valve disorders.

A TAVR procedure is not without risks, but it provides beneficial treatment options to people who may have not been candidates a few years ago, while also providing the added bonus of a faster recovery, in most cases.

Medicine may be needed to prevent, treat or manage heart failure, which is the most common complication of aortic valve stenosis.

The University of Louisville Physicians Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, treats mitral regurgitation with transcatheter mitral repair using a MitraClip.

What is mitral regurgitation?

Mitral regurgitation is a condition in which the heart's mitral valve leaflets do not close tightly. When this happens, blood flows backward from the heart's left ventricle into the left atrium. The heart must then work harder to push blood through the body, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, swollen feet or ankles, and lightheadedness.

There are two types of mitral regurgitation: degenerative and functional.

Degenerative mitral regurgitation, also called primary mitral regurgitation, is caused by damage to the mitral valve leaflets. It can be related to age, a valve abnormality present from birth, heart disease, coronary artery disease, or a history of rheumatic fever.

Functional mitral regurgitation, also called secondary mitral regurgitation, is caused by enlargement of the heart due to ischemia caused by a heart attack or heart failure.

Mitral regurgiation can only be treated in two ways: traditional open mitral valve surgery (repair or replacement) or transcatheter mitral repair with a MitraClip. An evaluation with a cardiologist will determine the right option for you.


Percutaneous mitral valve repair is expanding treatment options for patients suffering from the debilitating symptoms of mitral regurgitation.

MitraClip is the world's first percutaneous mitral valve repair therapy available, providing an option for select patients with mitral regurgitation.

What is it? The MitraClip Delivery System consists of implant catheters and the MitraClip device, a permanent implant that attaches to the mitral valve leaflets. This procedure results in a double opening of the mitral valve allowing greater closure and reducing valve leaks (mitral regurgitation).

How does it work? The MitraClip device is inserted by a catheter through the femoral vein and guided into the heart. The MitraClip device is positioned by grasping boh leaflets of the mitral valve. The device is left in place and the delivery catheter is removed.

When is it used? The MitraClip Clip Delivery System is intended to treat patients with significant symptomatic degenerative mitral regurgitation, with MR greater than or equal to 3+ who have too high a risk for traditional surgery.

What will it accomplish? The major clinical benefit of the MitraClip is the reduction of mitral regurgitation, causing fewer hospitalizations, improved quality of life, symptomatic relief and left ventricular remodeling.

Learn more about the MitraClip at and

News Article: UofL Physicians Valve Team now offers MitraClip procedure

Physicians in this practice may not see patients at all locations listed below. For details, please call the appointment line for the location you are interested in visiting.

Our specially trained team performs these procedures in our new state-of-the-art hybrid catheterization suite at the KentuckyOne Health Rudd Heart & Lung Center. The UofL Physicians Heart Valve Team at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is the primary site in Louisville, Ky., offering these innovative procedures.

For questions and inquiries, please contact Erika Keithley, valve coordinator, at 502-588-7616 or call the Valve Line at 502-588-7621.

Offices and Clinics

  • Rudd Heart and Lung Center, UofL Physicians - Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery
    201 Abraham Flexner Way
    Suite 1200
    Louisville, Kentucky 40202
    View Google Map

Hospital Affiliations

  • Jewish Hospital

Our team is comprised of cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, a valve coordinator, an anesthesiologist and cardiovascular surgeons.

The UofL Physicians team (listed below) works in conjunction with providers from KentuckyOneHealth, including Drs. Naresh Solankhi, Matthew Bessen, Dana Settles and Jiapeng Huang. Erika Keithley serves as the valve coordinator.

Next Steps

For more information or to make an appointment,
call 502-588-6000