The structures that make up your heart, such as the valves and chambers, sometimes have abnormalities that prevent your heart from functioning normally. If you have symptoms of structural or valvular heart disease, the expert physicians at Cardiac Care Consultants in Peoria, Sun City West, and Wickenburg, Arizona, can help. They use state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to determine what type of heart condition you have and provide a range of treatments to address the disease. To find out more about structural and valvular heart disease, call Cardiac Care Consultants today or schedule an appointment online.
Structural and valvular heart diseases affect the way your heart functions. Your heart is a large muscle containing four valves (mitral, bicuspid, tricuspid, and aortic) and four chambers. The lower chambers are the left and right ventricles, and the upper chambers are the left and right atria.
The muscles, valves, and chambers work in coordination with each other to bring used blood back to your heart, transfer it to your lungs for oxygenation, and deliver fresh blood to your body. If any part of your heart is weak, damaged, or abnormal, it can affect blood flow throughout your whole body.
Valvular heart disease makes your heart valves too narrow, stiff, or otherwise ineffective. Structural heart disease affects your blood vessels, heart walls, valves, and your heart’s ability to pump effectively.
Examples of some of the more common structural and valvular heart diseases include:
Aortic stenosis causes the aortic valve to become hard and stiff.
With mitral regurgitation, blood flows back through the mitral valve.
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole between the atria (the upper chambers). A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole between the ventricles (lower chambers).
Cardiomyopathies are diseases that cause your heart muscle to thicken or weaken, so it’s unable to pump properly. Examples include dilated, hypertrophic, and restrictive cardiomyopathy.
PFO is a congenital abnormality where the opening between a baby’s atria doesn’t close after birth. In many cases, PFO causes no problems, but for some, it increases their risk of suffering a stroke.
Congenital conditions – problems you’re born with like PFO – are the most frequent cause of structural and valvular heart disease. Sometimes, congenital heart diseases may go unnoticed in childhood, and you may only find out as an adult during a routine checkup.
Other potential causes of valvular and structural heart disease include:
If your provider at Cardiac Care Consultants thinks you might have structural or valvular heart disease, they can request diagnostic studies to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
Tests you might need to undergo for suspected structural or valvular heart disease include an echocardiogram (ultrasound of your heart), transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), nuclear stress test, or a multi-acquisition gated scan (MUGA).
Your provider can prescribe medications to treat structural and valvular heart diseases that are posing a threat to your health. Cardiac Care Consultants also offers a variety of minimally invasive procedures such as:
These procedures don’t require open surgery, which means you experience less pain, a shorter recovery, and fewer complications.
For expert assessment and treatment of your structural or valvular heart disease, call Cardiac Care Consultants today or book an appointment online.