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Structural Heart

Your Heart's Roadmap

Your heart has four valves with tissue flaps that open and close with every heartbeat. These flaps act as a roadmap for the heart, guiding blood flow in the right direction through the four chambers of your heart and throughout your body. If a problem occurs with one of your heart valves, our team at the DMC is here to help you.

Although some people have heart valve defects they are born with or disease that has developed over time, they may not have symptoms or even any problems. In other cases, the heart valve problem may worsen and cause symptoms to develop. When left untreated, advanced heart valve disease can cause heart failure, stroke, blood clots, or even death.

Navigating Your Care

The Structural Heart/Valve Clinic at the DMC is designed to make your visit more efficient, saving you time away from work or home by making sure you can be seen by our entire team in just one day.

The Structural Heart Program at the DMC encompasses interventional technology as well as the latest in structural heart innovations. The variety of minimally-invasive treatment options gives patients a wide range of personalized choices with the ability to make an educated decision based on their specific diagnosis.

A patient navigator will make all the necessary appointments and schedule you with one of our cardiologists and a cardiovascular surgeon, who are skilled in some of the most innovative valve procedures, and work together to develop your personalized care plan.

What You Can Expect

A visit to the Valve Clinic might include reviewing any previous tests or imaging of your heart, or some new testing may be performed. There are various options for treating valve disease, and our team will discuss those with you. Surgery to fix or replace a faulty valve may be needed. If that is the case, we offer minimally invasive techniques to lessen pain and blood loss, and allow you to get back to your daily routine faster, with a healthier heart.

Heart Quiz

How healthy is your heart?

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More Information

12 Helpful Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a kind of lipid that the liver produces naturally. Your body needs it to form specific hormones and vitamin D in the body. It also helps keep the walls of your cells flexible. Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, so it travels in the body through proteins called lipoproteins.

Two Types of Cholesterol

1. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) or the bad cholesterol
2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the good cholesterol.

Having too much bad cholesterol may result in excess cholesterol deposits in your arteries which may put you at risk of heart attack, kidney failure, stroke and other heart diseases. Learn more about the meaning and importance of your cholesterol numbers.

Ways to Lower Bad (or Increase Good) Cholesterol

1. Increase your fiber intake. (25 grams per day for a 2,000 calorie diet)

2. Eat more healthy fats. (i.e. avocados, olive oil and dark chocolate)

3. Add more omega-3s to your diet. (i.e. salmon and tree nuts)

4. Maintain a healthy weight.

5. Avoid stress.

6. Exercise regularly. (30 min./day, 5 days/week)

7. Don’t smoke.

8. Limit alcohol. (2 drinks/day for men, 1 drink/day for women)

9. Avoid trans fats. (i.e. pastries and cookies)

10. Take supplements like fish oil and flaxseed.

11. Consider prescription medication.

12. Get lipoprotein apheresis treatment.

Final Thoughts

High cholesterol levels can cause serious health problems, including heart disease. The good thing is, committing to a healthier lifestyle and cooperating with your doctor can help you treat or manage this condition, and prevent greater health risks in the future.

Meanwhile, if you don’t know your cholesterol levels, please schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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Your safe care is our #1 priority.