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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.

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More Information

Four Reasons to Keep Heart Arrhythmia in Check

You may think that a skip in your heart beat is something you can just let go. Little do you know that what you are ignoring might cause further complications in the long run.

As heart arrhythmia is the irregular beating of the heart, it wouldn’t necessarily have an immediate or direct impact on how a person is feeling at the moment. However, given that the heart is not beating normally, this means that it’s not pumping blood effectively. When this happens, it can have adverse effects on the major organs like the lungs and brain and all other organs.

What doesn’t hurt you now can be a cause for concern in the future if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

Here are four reasons why you should take heart arrhythmia seriously:

  1. It can lead to cognitive impairment and dementia
    With reduced blood flow to the brain over time, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia could be the results.
  2. It can cause heart failure
    Frequent arrhythmias can cause the lower chambers of the heart to be ineffective in pumping blood. Arrhythmia can increase the likelihood of heart failure, even more if you already have heart disease.
  3. You can get a stroke
    Arrhythmia can result to blood clots forming in the atria. If a clot makes its way to the brain, a stroke may occur.
  4. You can suffer a heart attack
    With arrhythmia, the heart may go on cardiac arrest and unexpectedly stop beating due to ventricular fibrillation.

Heart arrhythmia is something that can’t be taken lightly. If and when you experience heart arrhythmia, the first step should be to take an active stand on your heart’s health. Accepting that you have it is one thing but the keys are advanced detection and proper monitoring.

Management and Treatment

Talk with your doctor to make a plan that is right for your condition. To at least minimize the effects of arrhythmia, ensure that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Keep your weight to an ideal level and stay active. Stress management is also important as well as having a proper diet and avoiding caffeine, tobacco and alcohol.

Keeping arrhythmia in check is the ideal approach but if treatment is needed, it’s actually quite simple.

Taking medications is a step. Depending on the condition of your arrhythmia, your doctor can prescribe medicines. Just make sure you take them exactly as prescribed. Don’t stop taking prescription medication unless told by your doctor or health provider.

In cases of recurring arrhythmia, an artificial pacemaker may be implanted to provide automatic correction when arrhythmia happens.

For concerns about your heart, talk with your doctor or health provider.

National Institutes of Health
American Heart Association