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Structural/Valvular Heart Disease

Where Compassion Meets Expertise in Cardiology Care


Understanding Structural/Valvular Heart Disease

Structural and valvular heart disease refers to conditions that affect the valves, chambers, or overall structure of the heart. The heart has four valves that ensure blood flows in the right direction through the heart chambers. When these valves are damaged or don't function properly due to congenital defects, infection, aging, or other factors, it can lead to structural or valvular heart disease.


Common types of structural/valvular heart disease include:

  1. Valvular Stenosis:  Narrowing of a heart valve, restricting blood flow.

  2. Valvular Regurgitation:  Leakage of blood backward through a valve, causing it to work inefficiently.

  3. Mitral Valve Prolapse:  A condition where the valve between the left upper and lower chambers of the heart doesn't close properly.

  4. Aortic Aneurysm:  Weakening and bulging of the aorta, the main artery carrying blood away from the heart.

  5. Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD):  Holes in the walls separating the heart chambers, allowing blood to mix between them.

Symptoms of structural/valvular heart disease may vary depending on the specific condition but can include shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, palpitations, and swelling in the legs and abdomen.

Our Services for Structural/Valvular Heart Disease

At James River Cardiology, we offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to effectively manage structural and valvular heart disease and improve heart function. Our team of skilled cardiologists and cardiac specialists is dedicated to providing personalized care tailored to each patient's needs. Here are some of the services we offer:


Diagnostic Procedures:

  1. Echocardiogram:  A non-invasive test that uses sound waves to create detailed images of the heart's structure and function, helping to diagnose structural abnormalities and valvular disorders.

  2. Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE):  An advanced echocardiographic technique that provides clearer images of the heart by inserting a probe into the esophagus, allowing for better visualization of the heart valves and chambers.

  3. Cardiac MRI or CT Scan:  Imaging tests that provide detailed images of the heart to evaluate its structure, function, and blood flow, aiding in the diagnosis and management of structural and valvular heart disease.


Therapeutic Procedures:

  1. Valvuloplasty:  A minimally invasive procedure to repair a narrowed or stenotic heart valve by using a balloon catheter to widen the valve opening.

  2. Valve Repair or Replacement Surgery:  Surgical procedures to repair or replace damaged heart valves with artificial or biological valves to restore normal blood flow through the heart.

  3. Closure of Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defects:  Surgical or transcatheter procedures to close holes in the walls separating the heart chambers to prevent abnormal blood flow.


Comprehensive Care for Heart Health

In addition to these procedures, we provide comprehensive management for structural and valvular heart disease, including medication management, lifestyle counseling, and cardiac rehabilitation programs to help patients manage their condition effectively and improve their quality of life. Our team is committed to staying at the forefront of research and innovation in structural and valvular heart disease management to offer our patients the best possible care.


If you're experiencing symptoms of structural/valvular heart disease or have concerns about your heart health, don't hesitate to contact us for an evaluation. Together, we can develop a personalized treatment plan to address your needs and optimize your heart health.

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