The fear that accompanies a cardiac condition can be overwhelming. But with the right resources, knowledge and treatment plan, patients can enjoy a bright future. Vicki Robinson, BSN, RN, Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Coordinator, PPG – Cardiology, answered our questions about how Parkview is stepping in to assist those facing a valvular disease diagnosis.
What is the mission of the Valve Clinic?
Our goal is to confirm diagnosis of Aortic Stenosis along with the level of severity and determine the best treatment plan for each patient. The Valve Clinic provides a specialized focus on Aortic Valve Stenosis, an in-depth review of patients' medical history and co-morbidities, then compile an individualized treatment plan.
What type of patient do you typically see?
The Valve Clinic sees any person referred for any valvular disease. Our patients typically range in age from 50-99.
Where is the Valve Clinic located?
We are located inside the Parkview Heart Institute, at Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology, 11108 Parkview Circle Drive, Entrance 10.
What can the patient expect when they come in?
They can expect excellent treatment and care for their diagnosis of Aortic Stenosis. They will spend several hours at their first clinic appointment as they begin their individual journey with an education class, lunch and then meeting with an Interventional Cardiologist and a Cardiovascular Surgeon. At each appointment, we take the patient’s weight, blood pressure and review medications. Patients can also expect to receive recommendations for additional testing, which may be required, in order to proceed with their treatment plan.
How often do they come in?
It is the goal of the Valve Clinic to streamline the process of treatment as much as possible. We try to limit the clinic visits to two separate encounters. The first visit (as explained above) will include recommendations of any additional testing needed to accurately assess and treat the condition. Any testing will be scheduled and the patient will have those dates and times prior to leaving that day.
On the second clinic visit, patients will hear the results of testing and receive an individualized treatment plan as well as the recommended procedure. Occasionally, patients may need to have an additional Clinic visit prior to their procedure, but we try to limit this as much as possible.
How does the Valve Clinic improve the patient experience?
It provides specialized treatment options, such as medical management, Balloon Valvuloplasty, standard surgical valve repair and TAVR (Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement). We review each of these options, along with basic anatomy and physiology of the heart, during an education class.
Do patients have to attend the education class?
Our providers value each patient’s time and that is why the education class is a required component of the Valve Clinic. This gives patients basic education regarding heart function, what Aortic Stenosis is, signs/symptoms of AS, testing that may be ordered, treatment options etc.
Do they need a referral?
Yes, they will need a referral from either a primary care physician or cardiologist.