What are Structural Heart Diseases?
Structural heart diseases involve abnormalities in the heart’s anatomy or “structures” (i.e., valves, chambers, and walls). When the heart’s structures or parts are damaged, blood flow can be altered, and major complications such as stroke, heart failure, or death can follow. Some of these conditions may be present from birth, while others are acquired later in life.
As we age, some of the heart structures may degenerate or get damaged, giving rise to structural heart diseases. Structural heart diseases include valves that don’t open and close properly (e.g., aortic stenosis or mitral valve regurgitation), abnormal openings between heart chambers (ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect), or an open pocket in the upper left chamber of the heart (left atrial appendage) where blood can stagnate and form clots, leading to increased stroke risk in certain patients with an abnormal, irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. Most of these diseases are progressive, thereby making symptoms more severe and complications more likely with increasing age.
What is a Structural Heart Disease Program?
Previously, treatment for most of the structural heart and valve diseases involved open-heart surgery. However, recent advances allow the treatment of many structural heart diseases with minimally invasive, catheter-based approaches, where valves and plugs can be placed in the heart through tubes inserted via the arteries or veins of the legs.
To offer these advanced therapies to patients, a ‘Structural Heart Disease Program’ has been developed at Heart South Cardiovascular Group, wherein, physicians have formed a multi-disciplinary team including general cardiologists specializing in cardiac imaging, electrophysiologists, interventional cardiologists, and cardiac surgeons to evaluate & treat complex structural heart diseases using the latest technology. These procedures include TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), Mitra-Clip, Watchman Implantation, Alcohol Septal Ablation, Atrial, and Ventricular Septal Defect closure, Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) closure, and Peri-Valvular Leak closure. At Heart South, our Structural Heart Program is designed to be patient-centric, providing compassionate yet state-of-the-art care to our patients and their loved ones.
Dr. Gaddam, Dr. Aggarwal, Dr. Nagaraj, and Dr. Bhatia are Board-Certified in Cardiovascular Disease specializing in structural heart procedures.
Structural Heart Procedures Performed:
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
A minimally-invasive procedure that allows the aortic valve to be replaced with a new valve.
MitraClip is a small clip that is attached to your mitral valve to treat mitral regurgitation by allowing your mitral valve to close more completely retiring normal blood blow through the heart.
The WATCHMAN Implant closes off an area of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA) to keep harmful blood clots that can form in the LAA from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke. It is estimated that 90% of the clots from the heart that cause strokes come from the LAA. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke may be reduced and, over time, patients may be able to stop taking warfarin.
We are a comprehensive health care source for cardiovascular medicine delivered in a personal, considerate, responsive, and well-informed approach. We serve patients from all over, especially the Birmingham area and Bibb and Chilton counties. We have the right doctor for you.