CaroMont Heart & Vascular

Structural Heart Disease

The Structural Heart Disease team at CaroMont Heart & Vascular specializes in minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement, and stroke risk reduction for Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). Structural heart disease deals with the tissues or valves of the heart. Many structural heart diseases are congenital, which means they are present at birth, but some structural heart disease will develop later in life.

There are many kinds of structural heart diseases, but they all involve a defect or disorder in the structure of the heart tissue or valves. Heart conditions that fall in the category of structural heart disease include:

  • Problems with heart valves
  • Hole(s) in the heart
  • Problems with the heart muscle (ex. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy)
  • Closure of the left atrial appendage for patients with AFib who cannot take blood thinners (WATCHMAN procedure)

Symptoms

The symptoms of structural heart disease vary depending on the condition and the patient. Most of the time, the symptoms of heart disease can include:

  • Mini strokes, also known as transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Stroke
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Coronary artery disease

Treating Structural Heart Disease

Some people have a structural heart defect and do not experience symptoms or problems. In these cases, treatment is not usually necessary. However, when structural heart disease causes problems with the function of your heart and related systems, it can lead to heart failure.

Heart conditions can be controlled with medication that can lessen symptoms associated with valvular or structural heart disease. When medication therapy is not enough, a number of advanced, minimally invasive or open surgical options may be used to treat or correct heart disease conditions. Our cardiovascular specialists work as a team to determine the right procedure for each individual patient for the best outcomes possible.

Transcatheter, also known as percutaneous procedures, during which our experienced interventionalists use alternative methods to traditional open surgeries for high-risk and medium risk patients to seal leaks and repair mitral valves and replace aortic valves. These procedures may include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • MitraClip (transcatheter mitral valve repair)
  • Left atrial appendage closure

When to See a Doctor

If you are having any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment to see your doctor. Tests may be needed to confirm or rule out a heart condition.