Structural Heart Disease

Structural Heart Diseases are a set of diseases / conditions that affect the heart’s valves, chambers, walls or muscle. These conditions can be congenital i.e. from birth, can develop with ageing or may be acquired along with other cardiac conditions.

Types of Structural Heart Disease

  • Heart Valve Diseases: The heart has four valves that direct blood to and from the chambers of the heart  namely aortic valve, mitral valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve. Sometimes, structural abnormalities can cause a valve to close incorrectly leading to regurgitation or leakage back into a heart chamber. Stenosis is a condition where a heart valve narrows thereby causing restriction in blood flow. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, fainting spells and irregular heartbeat. Aortic valve conditions are the most common, followed by mitral valve conditions followed by tricuspid valve and finally pulmonary valve.
  • Cardiomyopathy: This is a condition that affects the myocardium or heart muscle. The heart muscle can become enlarged, stiff or thickened. This affects the pumping ability of the heart causes symptoms like shortness of breath, palpitations or fatigue. If untreated, the condition may degenerate and result in heart failure
  • Congenital heart disorders: These are a class of disorders that occur congenitally i.e. present at birth due to genetic predisposition or during fetal development. Septal defects are a common class of conditions where walls between a pair of heart chambers do not fully close resulting in a hole eg: Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). Click here to read more

Diagnosis

While structural heart disease can affect people of any age, the incidence of structural heart diseases, especially valve disease increases with age.

A physician may suspect structural heart disease if they hear a murmur upon listening to the heart with a stethoscope. In such cases, a cardiologist will engage in a set of one or more tests to diagnose the condition

  • ECG measures electrical activity in the heart and may give clues regarding structural abnormalities
  • Echocardiogram is an effective test that uses echo to map out the pumping function of the heart as well as create images of the chambers and valves
  • Treadmill Test (TMT) measures the heart rhythm while you walk on the treadmill
  • Coronary angiogram is a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure where a catheter is inserted through your groin leading to the blood vessels in your heart where the vessels as well as valves can be studied
  • Holter Monitor is a device fixed to your chest that measures electrical activity of the heart over a period of time
  • Imaging tests can range from Chest X-Rays to CT Angiogram to Cardiac MRI which can help diagnose the conditions

Treatments

The treatment can range from medical management to interventional cardiology to surgery. Consult a cardiologist to understand the diagnosis and right treatment plan for you

  • Medical management
  • Interventional Cardiology Procedures: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a novel technique that was introduced at the start of the century. This involves insertion of a valve implant via a catheter to fix stenosis (thickening) in the aorta. This is a viable procedure for patients who are deemed to high risk to undergo a surgical valve replacement. Similarly, MitraClip is a novel technique that places a clip at the site of the mitral valve to fix mitral regurgitation
  • Surgical Valve Replacement / Repair: For decades, the conventional approach of surgical replacement / repair of valves has worked and continues to work extremely well. Nowadays, as an alternative to Open Heart Surgery, this procedure can be done through Minimally Invasive means as well as Robot assisted means that results in less scarring, quicker discharge and recovery. Please seek referral to a cardiac surgeon to discuss the options that are right for you

The Apollo Edge

  • Most number of TAVIs in AP Telangana (100+)
  • Certified licensed TAVI proctors who have significant experience performing TAVI all across the country
  • A combined Heart Team comprising cardiologists and cardiac surgeons performs a comprehensive risk scoring to ensure the best safety and outcomes for the patient
  • 1st to perform the MitraClip procedure in AP Telangana
  • Experience of surgical treatment of over 2000 congenital heart defects
  • Leader in Minimally Invasive procedures (1300+ across all types of heart surgeries)

Resources

  • TAVI/ TAVR
  • Mitraclip
  • Heart Failure
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Tricuspid Valve Repair
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