Meet Your Heart Team
When you have a heart valve disease like aortic stenosis, you will be treated by a whole team of medical professionals. Here are some of the healthcare experts who may provide care for you:
Primary care physician: This MD may be the first to identify the symptoms of heart valve disease. He or she may order special tests to confirm the diagnosis or refer you to a cardiologist or other specialist.
Cardiologist: An MD who specializes in heart disease, this physician performs diagnostic tests to identify the cause of heart problems, helps develop a treatment plan and can prescribe medications.
Cardiovascular surgeon: This MD specializes in heart surgery, including the repair or replacement of heart valves. He or she will help decide the type of surgery you will need, as well as the best timing.
Interventional cardiologist: An MD who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease using catheter-based tests and procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting. An interventional cardiologist is part of the team that performs transcatheter aortic or mitral valve replacement.
Anesthesiologist: This MD specializes in providing sedation or general anesthesia during surgical procedures.
Imaging specialist: This healthcare professional performs diagnostic tests such as echocardiography, CT scans and MRIs.
TAVR coordinator: A healthcare professional, such as a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, who collaborates with physicians and other members of a TAVR team to make sure the procedure goes smoothly. The TAVR coordinator also provides patient support.
Critical care physicians and nurses: The team that provides intensive
care following cardiovascular surgery. They will collaborate with your surgeon and/or cardiologist.