Specializing in minimally invasive valve care

Heart surgeons at Ascension Via Christi specialize in structural heart valve care performing minimally invasive TAVR and other procedures.

Ascension Via Christi Advanced Heart Valve Care

For more information about our Wichita care, call 316-268-5000. To schedule an appointment in Pittsburg, call 620-232-5705 or 620-231-5965

Minimally Invasive Valve Care in Wichita

Heart surgeons at Ascension Via Christi in Wichita specialize in structural heart valve care, performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and other advanced minimally invasive procedures.

Heart Care in Wichita

The cardiac care team at Ascension Via Christi in Wichita specializes in structural heart valve care, performing minimally invasive and other procedures. The team’s participation in clinical research trials is helping break ground in the area of structural heart worldwide, making Wichita a destination center for patients seeking minimally invasive heart valve care options.

The Ascension Via Christi Structural Heart Program provides an experienced team of cardiologists and heart surgeons specializing in structural heart defects and heart valve care. Our team approach delivers compassionate, personalized care using minimally invasive procedures to repair or replace a damaged heart valve. Our heart surgery center at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis has the most up-to-date cath lab equipment, anesthesia, special lighting, video and monitoring system, and a CT scan that provides a 3D images of the heart and vessels. The hybrid operating suite is designed for image-guided navigation and minimally invasive heart procedures.

Minimally Invasive Structural Heart Procedures

In addition to traditional open-heart valve replacement surgery, our cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and other surgical care team members are highly experienced in performing minimally invasive heart procedures that help shorten recovery time including:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty: A catheter with a balloon is used to enlarge the valve opening.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): A catheter is used to carry and insert a replacement valve.
  • MitraClip: A steerable catheter carries a clip to repair mitral valve regurgitation.
  • Hybrid procedures: Combines minimally invasive surgery with simultaneous percutaneous procedure
  • Watchman: This FDA-approved implant effectively reduces stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation (AFib) that’s not caused by a heart valve problem. A one-time, minimally invasive procedure, WATCHMAN is a permanent implant that closes off the left atrial appendage, where most stroke-causing blood clots form.

The team also brings other leading-edge care options to Kansas through its participation in ground-breaking clinical trials for new devices and procedures, such as Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR).

Your doctor will explain your care options for your heart valve condition:

  • Hardening of the aortic valve (aortic valve stenosis)
  • Moderate or severe hardening of the mitral valve (mitral stenosis)
  • Severe leakage of the mitral valve (mitral valve regurgitation)
  • Hardening of the pulmonary valve (pulmonary valve stenosis)
  • Severe leakage of the tricuspid valve (tricuspid valve regurgitation)

The team is also able to diagnose and treat hole in the heart (patent foramen ovale, atrial or ventricular septal defect).

Our Pittsburg Location

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg is a leader in cardiac care for the four-states region. We offer several locations to serve you.

Via Christi Heart Center

The Via Christi Heart Center in Pittsburg is a more than $3 million investment in the fight against heart disease in Southeast Kansas. In Crawford County it is estimated that 48% of all deaths are a result of heart disease, compare that to the national average of 32% and it is easy to see the need for quality heart care in our community.

Via Christi Heart Center can positively impact those numbers by providing advanced coronary diagnoses locally, by assisting patients before their conditions become critical and by providing procedures for those patients requiring advanced treatment.

Via Christi Heart Center offers a cardiology team committed to excellence. With a number of diagnostic procedures used in diagnosis, treatment and recovery offered at Via Christi, it's easy to see why Via Christi Heart Center is "Bringing Heart Care Home to Southeast Kansas."

The Heart Center includes

  • Cardiac diagnostic testing
  • Cardiovascular catheterization lab
  • Clinics
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

Our new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization lab is at the heart of the Via Christi Heart and Vascular Center. Our Siemens Coroskop catheterization lab is one of the most recognized names in heart care.

Benefits of the catheterization procedure

  • Allows physicians to assess how well heart is pumping
  • Assists physicians in locating and treating blockages in coronary arteries
  • Shows physicians the function of heart valves
  • May be used to assess and treat blockages in leg arteries

How the Procedure Works

First an IV will be started prior to the procedure, the patient will be given a mild sedative to help in relaxation and comfort, but it will not put the patient to sleep. The patient will remain awake throughout the procedure in order to follow the doctor's instructions and alert staff of any discomfort or problems.

Once in the catheterization lab, nurses and technicians will prepare for the procedure by placing EKG electrodes on the chest, shaving and cleaning the groin area or arm with antiseptic solution and covering with sterile towels and sheets.

The cardiologist or surgeon will inject the groin or arm with a numbing medication, much like you receive at a dentist office. After this medication has taken effect, the doctor will make a small puncture into the blood vessel with a small needle. A larger IV will then be placed and the catheter will be inserted. The physician will watch the movement in the catheter by x-ray. Some pressure at the site of the insertion may be felt. The patient will not be able to feel the catheter inside the body. Once the catheter has been guided to the heart, the contrast material or dye, as it is sometimes called, is administered through the catheter.

When this occurs, a patient may feel hot or flushed for a short time. This is a normal reaction to the dye and is not a cause for concern. There may be several injections of the dye, and the x-ray equipment may be moved around during the procedure. This is necessary to get different views of the patient's heart and coronary arteries. The dye in the coronary arteries is seen by the x-ray as a dark line. A disruption of the dark line may signify an area of plaque build-up inside the wall of the artery.

During this same procedure, dye is injected into the heart's pumping chamber in order to see how well the heart muscle is contracting and how well the valves are working. Pressure measurements are also taken at this time and are interpreted by a computer.

The entire procedure should only take 1-2 hours. Once the catheterization is complete the catheter is removed and firm pressure or a vessel closure device along with tight dressing will be put in place.

After the catheterization, the patient will be returned to a recovery area or a patient room. Via Christi Staff will continue with observation and any follow-up treatment after the procedure is complete. Recent advances in closure devices have made recovery time after catheterization much shorter and many patients go home the same day.

Treatment of a Blockage

In some cases the catheterization procedure reveals that fatty deposits known as plaques have collected along the walls of a patient's arteries, narrowing the arteries and making it difficult for blood to pass through. If a blockage is noted, our physicians may use one of three methods to improve blood flow in the artery.


During an angioplasty procedure, a catheter with a small balloon at the tip is advanced into the artery with blockage. When the catheter reaches the narrowed area, the balloon is inflated. This stretches the artery and flattens the fatty deposits against the artery's walls increasing blood flow.


A stent is a small device that is placed in a coronary artery to keep it open. It is a permanent implant that remains in the artery. By keeping the artery open, the stent improves blood flow and relieves symptoms of coronary heart disease.

Drug Eluding Stent

Just like a normal stent, this is a small device that is placed in an artery to keep it open. This stent also contains medication that prevents the regrowth of fatty deposits or plaques along the artery walls, in turn keeping the artery open for blood to pass. It is a permanent implant that remains in the artery.

Outpatient Heart Clinics

The Ascension Via Christi Heart Clinic and Ascension Via Christi Heart Clinic on S Rouse feature electrocardiogram and echocardiogram testing, holter and event monitors, and several types of stress tests.

For more information about our Wichita care, call 316-268-5000. To schedule an appointment in Pittsburg, call 620-232-5705 or 620-231-5965

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