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The Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute excels in treating valvular heart disease, where the valves become too narrow and hardened (stenotic) to open fully, or are unable to close completely (regurgitant).
A stenotic valve makes it difficult for blood to leave a chamber, while a regurgitant valve allows blood to leak back into the chamber it previously exited. Treatment depends upon the extent of the disease, and may include antibiotic therapy, anticoagulants, balloon dilatation and valve surgery.
A number of minimally-invasive cardiac surgeries are performed at the Heart and Vascular Institute, including: