The Heart Valve Center

The International Heart Institute of Montana Foundation (IHIMF) is a resource for physicians and patients who have an interest in learning more about heart valve disease.

The term heart valve disease is commonly used when a valve either fails to open properly (stenosis) or fails to close completely, allowing backward flow of blood (regurgitation). Heart valve disease can affect any of the four cardiac valves, or it can occur in more than one of them at the same time. However, diseases of the aortic and mitral valves are the most common, affecting more than 5% of the population. If left untreated, valve disease can lead to heart failure and other complications.

IHIMF is dedicated to the research of and education about valvular heart disease. Created by Carlos M. G. Duran, MD, PhD, FACC, an internationally renowned cardiovascular surgeon and pioneer in the treatment of heart valve disease, IHIMF seeks to foster the provision of full-continuum, high-quality cardiac care by conducting basic, translational, and clinical cardiac research; developing technology with commercial applications; and through training and educational efforts.

A Team Approach: Collaboration between Cardiologists and Cardiovascular Surgeons
Heart valve disease is a complex problem. Selecting the appropriate treatment and the timing of the treatment for each individual patient requires careful identification of the specific valve problem. This requires close collaboration between a cardiologist and surgeon before, during, and after treatment. At IHIMF, this collaboration combines the expertise of cardiologists specializing in echocardiography, interventional procedures, electrophysiology, and medical treatment with the advanced surgical skill of accomplished and specially trained cardiovascular and thoracic surgeons. Our team approach means that patients with valve disease have repair rather than replacement whenever possible and that complications associated with treatment or treatment timing are avoided.


Hoag Heart Institute