Screening Patients for Heart Valve Surgery

Cheryl Low, MN, NP-Adult, Nurse, explains the process of screening patients for minimally invasive heart valve surgery at Southlake Regional Health Centre.

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Cheryl Low, MN, NP-Adult, Nurse, explains the process of screening patients for minimally invasive heart valve surgery at Southlake Regional Health Centre.
Video transcript

Featuring Cheryl Low, MN, NP - Adult, Nurse Southlake Regional Health Centre

Duration: 2 minutes, 51 seconds

You have been diagnosed by your regular doctors as having a disease to one or more of your heart valves, and you’ve been asked to see us at our clinic to determine whether or not you’re eligible for a potential minimally invasive heart valve procedure that will either repair or replace your heart valve.

The goal of the clinic visit is to assess your overall well-being, and also explore different treatment options for you to ensure you’re getting the right treatment at the right time. In the clinic the assessment involves a physical assessment, as well as a comprehensive interview to help us understand your medical issues, any symptoms that you’re having and the impact that it has on your quality of life, as well as your social support network and any social issues that you may have, any challenges you have taking care of yourself, and on occasion we may ask you to perform what we call cognitive and frailty assessments, and those assessments really help us to understand your physical and thinking abilities.

Your tests included in the clinic include a routine blood test that looks at your blood count, your electrolytes, kidney function, liver function and your body’s ability to form blood clots. The second test is also called an ECG and that test looks at the electrical conduction system of your heart, and this is performed by putting electrodes on your skin. The third test is a transthoracic echocardiogram, and what that test involves is a specialized ultrasound that looks at the structure and the function of your heart and valves.

At the end of the clinic visit, if you’re deemed a potential candidate for a minimally invasive heart valve procedure, and after discussing the procedure, if you and your family are open to proceeding, then we will make preparations for additional tests that are required. These tests include a specialized cardiac CAT scan, as well as a coronary angiogram, both looking at the anatomy and blood vessels of your heart and your body to determine if it is feasible to perform the minimally invasive valve procedure.

Throughout the process we will be communicating with your regular providers to let them know our assessment findings, the treatment options we’ve discussed and the plan of action. After the additional testing is completed, your case will be reviewed by our specialized heart team. The team consists of cardiac surgeons, cardiac interventionalists, cardiologists, radiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists, a nurse coordinator and a nurse practitioner.

As a group we review the results of all of your testing and your case, and determine whether or not a minimally invasive heart valve procedure is the best option for you. If you have any additional questions, I would encourage you to contact your regular healthcare team.

Presenter: Cheryl Low, Nurse, Newmarket, ON

Local Practitioners: Nurse

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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