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Structural Heart Program

UK HealthCare has been a pioneer in transcatheter heart valve interventions for more than 25 years. Since performing the first balloon aortic valvuloplasty in 1984, our doctors have expanded the range of catheter-based repair to mitral, pulmonic and prosthetic valve diseases.

The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute continues to offer the most complete and most experienced transcatheter valve program in the region. Led by interventional cardiologist John Gurley, MD, our heart valve team includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, advanced imaging specialists, cardiac anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners and care coordinators. The team performs TAVR and other minimally invasive heart valve procedures in a state-of-the-art hybrid operating suite at the new UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. 

Patient appointments

Request an appointment online or call one of the locations listed below.


Health care providers, please visit our referral page to refer your patient to this service.

  • Procedures


    WATCHMAN is a permanent implant that lowers the risk of stroke for patients with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem – a condition called non-valvular Afib. For patients with this condition, stroke-causing clots that come from the heart are often formed in the left atrial appendage, LAA. The WATCHMAN implant addresses this problem by closing off the LAA to keep blood clots from escaping. How it works: Your doctor will make a small cut in your upper leg, insert a narrow tube and guide the WATCHMAN implant into the LAA. The implant does not have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body.

    Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

    In most cases, we use open-chest surgery to fix heart valve problems. But to get to the heart, we have to cut through the tissue and bone. For some patients, this is too risky. For them, TAVR may be an option. How it works: The new valve is collapsed inside a tube. We thread the tube into the heart through an artery. To place the new valve, we push a balloon through the tube.


    This is a treatment for A Fib (atrial fibrillation). A Fib is a problem with the heart beat. It can cause blood clots. Blood thinners are often used to treat it. If a patient cannot take blood thinners, LARIAT may be an option. How it works: Most clots caused by A Fib come from the LAA (Left Atrial Appendage). The LAA is a small sac that can be closed off. The LARIAT device lets us tie a suture shaped like a lasso around the LAA. Two tubes are used to guide the lasso into place and tie it off. This prevents stroke by keeping clots from leaving the LAA. 

    PFO Closure

    PFO stands for patent foramen ovale. This is when a child’s heart has a hole that never closed. We fix this with an implant that covers the hole. How it works: A tube goes into a vein and is threaded into the heart. Once the tube is in place, we push the implant through the tube. The implant will expand and cover the hole. The implant will stay in the heart for the rest of the patient’s life.


    AngioVac is a system from for bypassing blood flow. It can also remove blood clots and blockages. Often, medicines can dissolve clots. If medicines do not work, we may need to do open chest surgery. But for some patients, the AngioVac may be a safer option. The tip of the tube is shaped like a funnel. This makes it easier for blockages to enter the tube. How it works: We place two tubes in the patient’s veins. Once they are in place, a machine removes and filters the blood. It then returns the blood to the body.