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Structural Heart Program

Structural Heart Program

The Structural Heart Program at Stroobants Cardiovascular Center is comprised of a collaborative team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the valves and other vital structures of the heart. Patients throughout the region benefit from our personalized, coordinated care and comprehensive range of medical and surgical treatment options.

Aortic Stenosis:

Aortic valve stenosis is a slow process. You may not feel any symptoms for many years, but at some point, the valve will likely become so narrow that you start having problems.  The first step in treating aortic stenosis is identifying it.  View the list below and ask yourself if you suffer from one or more of the warning signs listed here:

Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis
Shortness of Breath
Lightheadedness, dizziness and/or fainting
Swollen ankles or feet
Difficulty walking short distances
Chest pain
Excessive fatigue

The need to sleep sitting upright instead of lying flat in bed

If you start to notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know right away.

What is Severe Aortic Stenosis:

Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of your aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow.  It can be cause by a birth defect, rheumatic fever, radiation therapy or can be related to age.

In elderly patients, severe aortic stenosis is sometimes caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve's leaflets.  Over time the leaflets become stiff, reducing the ability to fully open and close.  When leaflets do not open fully, the heart must work harder to push blood through the aortic valve to the rest of the body.

Eventually, the heart becomes weaker.  This increases the risk of heart failure (when the heart cannot keep up with the workload).  Sever aortic stenosis is a very serious problem.  Without aortic valve replacement, approximately 50% of the people who have developed symptoms will die within an average of 2 years.

Heart Structures — Atria, Ventricles and Valves

The heart’s structures include four chambers - two atria and two ventricles - as well as valves that keep the blood flowing in the right direction. The four main valves in the heart are the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve and pulmonary valve. Together, the heart’s structures work to keep blood flowing through the body.

Structural Heart Conditions

Structural heart conditions are fairly common. Mild conditions may require checkups with a cardiologist to make sure your condition does not change. More advanced conditions may require cardiac testing and care by the experts at the Structural Heart Program at Stroobants Cardiovascular Center.

TAVR Heart Team

The TAVR Heart Team at Stroobants Cardiovascular offers expert diagnosis and care from a multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons specializing in minimally invasive techniques. The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive process to treat Aortic stenosis available to high risk patients.  This team discusses details of each patient to create the best individualized plan for diagnosis and treatment.