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Treatments for Structural Heart Disease

Smiling female physicianTreatments for structural heart disease help patients address symptoms caused by heart chamber and valve abnormalities characterized by the disease. At Tampa General Hospital, our physicians are able to treat a wide variety of structural heart disease conditions in patients, whether the condition has been present from birth or has developed later in life due to an infection, wear and tear on the heart, or by another underlying condition or disease.

Our physicians typically utilize one or some combination of three treatment types for structural heart disease. These treatment types include:

  • Medications – Certain medications can help alleviate the symptoms of structural heart disease. For example, vasodilators can be used to open and relax blood vessels, which can reduce pressure and help move blood forward rather than backward through a leaky valve.    
  • Open heart surgery – This type of cardiac surgery, during which the chest is opened up, has been the conventional method of treating structural heart disease. Common procedures include open heart valve repair and replacement.
  • Catheter-based interventions – Instead of opening the chest, a catheter is inserted into an artery to reach the heart. Using a catheter, a replacement valve can be inserted into the heart or holes in the heart can be closed. Catheter-based procedures are less invasive than open heart surgery and are options for those who are not able to undergo open heart surgery.

If structural heart disease is left untreated, symptoms – such as stroke, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain, congestive heart failure, kidney dysfunction, fainting and fatigue – may develop or worsen.  

At the Tampa General Hospital Cardiovascular Center, our team of surgeons, interventional cardiologists, echocardiographers, and anesthesiologists work with each patient to figure out the best treatments and/or procedures for their structural heart disease and create a comprehensive care plan. 

To be referred to a heart specialist at Tampa General Hospital, click here to visit Physician Finder or call 1-800-822-DOCS (3627).