Porter Health System Introduces Center for Heart Valve Disease During American Heart Month

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: February 10, 2011

During February, American Heart Month, Porter Health System is officially introducing its new Center for Heart Valve Disease by increasing education surrounding heart valve disease – a disease which occurs when one or more of your heart valves does not open fully and restricts blood flow, or does not close properly and allows blood to leak back into the heart chambers.


Visit the Porter Health System website
Valparaiso Campus
814 LaPorte Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-263-4600

According to Walid Khabbaz, MD, a heart valve surgeon, about five million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease each year. “Symptoms of heart valve disease are very similar to that of coronary disease such as chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue and edema of the lower extremities,” said Khabbaz. “Of course, the key is to get evaluated if you have any of these symptoms. Left untreated, heart valve disease can cause heart failure, stroke, blood clots or death due to sudden cardiac arrest.”

According to Khabbaz, Porter’s multi-specialty Valve Center provides patients with comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, as well as evidence-based treatment options. “During our assessment of the patient, we use echocardiography to visualize valves in action. And where advanced imaging is needed, we use our 3-D TEE (Transesophageal echocardiography). This improved image quality is only available at Porter.”

Porter’s Director of Cardiovascular Services Allen Miller adds,” With 3D TEE, the physician can see the entire valve, the surrounding muscle and the edges better than ever. This improved image quality provides clear details and increases diagnostic accuracy.”

According to Khabbaz, a thorough analysis of the results is provided by Porter’s multidisciplinary team which includes cardiologists and cardio-thoracic surgeons specially trained in heart valve function. Each patient and their referring physician will receive a detailed analysis of the severity of the valve disease and a “road map” of treatment to ensure the best outcome.

In many cases, observation and follow-up is sufficient. In others, medication and lifestyle changes may be needed,” said Khabbaz. “For patients needing surgery, Porter’s center offers both surgical replacement and surgical valve repair.”

For more information regarding Porter’s Heart Valve Disease Center, visit www.porterhealth.com.