Skip to Content

Valve Clinic at UCH

The Valve Clinic at University of Colorado Hospital is a multidisciplinary initiative launched in 2011 that pools the hospital’s strengths in imaging, as well as interventional and surgical procedures.

Melody transcatheter aortic valve

The Melody transcatheter pulmonic valve is a
tissue valve implanted, through a minimally
invasive procedure, that is used to treat
patients with narrowing of the pulmonic valve.

The clinic offers patients and families an opportunity to meet in one place and at one time with specialists in a variety of disciplines to discuss options, weigh risks, ask questions and make better-informed decisions about repairing or replacing leaky, narrowed or diseased heart valves.

A collaborative model of care

The rapid march of technology favors a collaborative model, says John Carroll, MD, director of Cardiac Interventions at UCH. “It’s relatively rare for specialists to see patients together. But there haven’t been many choices before,” he noted. “Valvular heart disease was predominantly a group of conditions that needed open-heart surgery.”

The advent of devices like the MitraClip®, a tiny, catheter-delivered clip that closes leaky mitral valves, and the investigational transcatheter aortic valve mean patients have more therapeutic options, Carroll added. Read more about the MitraClip.

Yet more options mean patients need the expertise of both interventionists and surgeons to evaluate which is best for them.

More time with specialists

A typical Valve Clinic visit is two hours, double the time of a regular visit. “It promotes the idea that patients and families can ask questions that they might not ask in a hurried environment where the physician is in and out in 15 or 30 minutes," Carroll said.

The TAVR program

The role of the Valve Clinic will soon expand. University of Colorado Hospital is one of only a handful of hospitals in the U.S. approved to conduct TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) heart valve procedures.

Our TAVR  program is for certain patients with severe aortic valve stenosis who are too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery. Interested in finding out if you're a candidate for TAVR? Call (720) 848-6508.

See an animation of the TAVR procedure

Watch the video

Source: Edwards Lifesciences

Patients approved for TAVR will receive a tissue valve with a large stent scaffold delivered and implanted via catheter. Implantation procedures are expected to begin early in 2012.

All patients will be seen in the Valve Clinic, where all screening studies will be performed. If necessary, patients will also undergo palliative-temporizing aortic balloon valvuloplasty.

Get patient information about the TAVR procedure

The PARTNER and PARTNER II research studies

Results from the PARTNER (Placement of AoRTic traNscathER valves) research trial, results for which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2011, show that TAVR is a safe and effective procedure for this group of patients.

The PARTNER II trial is currently accepting participants. To learn more, go to the clinical trials page and search "partner."


For questions and additional information about the TAVR program, call or email John Carroll or John Messenger, MD, the interventionists leading the effort:

If you prefer to directly schedule a patient in the multidisciplinary Valve Clinic, call 720-848-6508.

This page adapted from a story written by Tyler Smith for the UCH Insider.

Request an Appointment