The highly trained surgeons and specialists at Biltmore Cardiology diagnose and treat structural heart disease. We understand the nuances involved and are sensitive to your preferences as we determine the best course of treatment. Fortunately, an advance in detection and treatment options are available that improve the outcome of structural heart disease. We invite you to get in touch with us to schedule an appointment.

Understanding Structural Heart Disease

Structural heart disease is a defect or disorder that causes problems with the tissue or valves of the heart. This form of heart disease is typically congenital – meaning you are born with it – or it develops as a result of aging, injury, or other infection. There are many different types of structural heart disease. Examples of these conditions are:

  • Ventricular Septal Defects – A hole in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart.
  • Atrial Septal Defects – A hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers of the heart.
  • Cardiomyopathy – When the heart muscle becomes stiff and enlarged.
  • Mitral Valve Regurgitation – A backflow of blood occurs when this valve is unable to close properly.
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis – When this valve stiffens or fuses together, preventing the effective flow of blood.
  • Aortic Stenosis – When the valve between the heart and the aorta does not open properly.
  • Coarctation of the Aorta – Narrowing in the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body.

Symptoms of Structural Heart Disease

There may be no symptoms in the early stages of structural heart disease. When symptoms do arise, they vary but can include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Tightness in the Chest
  • Chest Pain
  • Arrhythmia
  • Kidney Problems

Treatment for Structural Heart Disease

Structural heart disease may not be discovered until it causes a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a full-blown stroke, which are life-threatening conditions. Early diagnosis is the best way to ensure effective treatment. Depending on the type of defect and what symptoms are being experienced, treatment may include:

  • Observation over time to detect any changes
  • Medication to alleviate symptoms
  • Surgery to repair or replace valves
  • Bypass surgery
  • Implantation of cardiac devices
  • Catheterization
  • Open heart surgery

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