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Stony Brook University Medical Center has opened a new Valve Center that offers comprehensive treatment of valvular heart disease.*

Valvular heart disease is any disease process involving one or more of the valves of the heart. According to the American Heart Association, a person can be born with an abnormal heart valve, or a valve can become damaged by infections such as endocarditis, rheumatic fever or changes in valve structure in the elderly. Treatment options include medication or, depending on the severity, valve repair or replacement by inserting an artificial heart valve.

Smadar Kort, M.D., FACC, FASE
The Valve Center is located within the Stony Brook University Heart Center, off the main lobby of the Hospital. It provides a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment of valve disease, in which the cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon provide a comprehensive diagnostic assessment and the best therapeutic option tailored to the patient's specific valve disease. A nurse practitioner also meets with each patient to coordinate evaluation and treatment.

"The goal of the Valve Center is to provide patients with a thorough diagnostic evaluation of their valve disease, so they have a better understanding of their condition. We provide them with a detailed plan of their treatment in a language they can understand and trust," said Smadar Kort, M.D., FACC, FASE, Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Director of the Valve Center Dr. Kort has board certifications in cardiovascular disease and echocardiology and is nationally and internationally known for her expertise in the field of echocardiography.

Another goal of the center is to improve the time from initial patient referral to diagnosis to treatment. Patients referred to the Valve Center will be seen within one week of referral. The time from diagnosis to treatment will be reduced by coordinating all tests and consultations into a single patient visit whenever possible.

Sandeep Gupta, M.D.
"The Valve Center will provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment options for our patients," said Sandeep Gupta, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery in Stony Brook University School of Medicine's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, who serves as Co-Director of the Valve Center. "It capitalizes upon the longstanding experience and expertise of a team that has collectively performed more than 15,000 heart operations."

Diagnostic services at the Valve Center include the Echocardiography Laboratory, which provides more than 13,000 imaging studies annually and is the only laboratory in Suffolk County with triple accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. Diagnostic studies performed on site include 3D TTE (transthoracic echocardiogram), 3D TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram) and stress echocardiography.

Treatment options include genetic and nutritional counseling, medical therapy and a full spectrum of surgical therapy, including mitral valve repair and aortic valve-sparing procedures for appropriate candidates.

Specialists at the Stony Brook University Heart Center will collaborate and communicate closely with the patient's personal cardiologist and primary care physician in determining the treatment plan. When appropriate, patients may be referred to other services at the Heart Center, such as the 320-slice CT scanner and Electrophysiology program.

Through a collaboration with New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Stony Brook University Heart Center will also screen and refer patients for less invasive percutaneous therapeutic treatment options that are available only in selected centers nationwide.

For more information about the Valve Center and valvular heart disease, visit http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/medicalcenter/heart_valve_disease.

About Stony Brook University Heart Center:
Stony Brook University Heart Center is located within Long Island's only university-based medical center. The Heart Center at Stony Brook offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease. The staff includes 50 full-time and community-based, board-certified cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, as well as 350 specially trained anesthesiologists, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, operating room technicians, perfusionists, and other support staff. Their combined expertise provides state-of-the-art interventional and surgical capabilities in 24-hour cardiac catheterization labs and surgical suites. And while the Heart Center clinical staff offers the latest advances in medicine, its physician-scientists are also actively enhancing knowledge of the heart and blood vessels through basic biomedical studies and clinical research. http://stonybrookheartcenter.org/

Editors' note: Valve Center appointments can be made by calling (631) 638-2101.
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The Stony Brook Medicine University Physicians website is primarily an informational and educational resource. It should not be used in place of medical advice and recommendations you receive from your health care provider. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please seek the advice of your health care provider.

Stony Brook Medicine University Physicians provides marketing advice and consultation to the clinical Faculty associated with the University Faculty Practice Corporations (UFPCs). It does not provide medical care directly or indirectly nor does it oversee, direct, manage or supervise the medical care provided by any of the individual Practices. The individual Practices are responsible for the medical care each Practice provides to its patients. Please note that the Practices listed below are separate University Faculty Practice Corporations (UFPCs).