Heart and valve care in Chicagoland
Aortic valve disease
The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the left side of your heart to your aorta and on to the rest of your body. The valve can become damaged and narrow (stenosis) or leak (regurgitation). This forces your heart to work harder and may lead to more serious conditions, such as heart failure or heart attack.
Adult congenital heart disease
Congenital heart disease develops before birth and affects the structure or function of your heart. If you have been diagnosed with a congenital heart condition, talk to your doctor about risk factors and treatments that are right for you.
Types of congenital heart disease
- Atrial septal defect (ASD): The ASD is an abnormal connection (hole) located between the upper chambers of your heart (atria). If left untreated, ASD can increase blood pressure in your lungs and may lead to stroke or congestive heart failure.
- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA): The PDA is a connection located between the aorta and left pulmonary artery that should close shortly after birth. If the opening does not close and enlarges, you may experience increased blood pressure in the lungs and eventually, heart failure.
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO): The PFO is a flap between the two top chambers of your heart. When a baby grows in the womb, they do not use their lungs and the flap allows blood from the placenta to flow to the baby’s organs. After birth, once the baby is able to breathe through their lungs, the flap is supposed to close. If not, and the PFO stays open into adulthood, you are at higher risk for stroke and other health complications.
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD): The VSD is a hole located in the wall (septum) between the lower chambers of your heart (ventricles). VSD can be congenital or in rare cases, the result of heart attacks.
Treatment options for congenital heart disease
- ASD, PDA and PFO closure: If you have a hole in your heart, your doctor may recommend a catheter-based procedure such as an ASD, PDA or PFO closure. A catheter is guided to your heart and closure devices, such as the Amplatzer Talisman™ PFO Occluder are used to close the opening.
- Open-heart surgery: If a transcatheter procedure is not right for you, open-heart surgery may be an option to treat congenital heart problems in adult patients.
- VSD closure: Depending on size and location, VSD can be managed with medication or through open-heart surgery. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive transcatheter procedure that uses closure devices such as the Amplatzer™ Muscular VSD Occluder or P.I. Muscular VSD Occluder.
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) causes the muscles of your heart to thicken, making it harder to pump blood. This may lead to heart rhythm disorders or even cardiac arrest. For many people, HOCM is an inherited condition that shows very few or no symptoms at all.
Your heart specialist at Ascension Illinois may recommend alcohol septal ablation or surgical septal myectomy to treat HOCM. During alcohol septal ablation, your doctor uses a catheter to inject alcohol into a small heart artery (septal branch) to help shrink the thickened muscle. A septal myectomy is an open-heart surgery that removes a portion of the thickened heart muscle to help improve blood flow. Many patients with HOCM may need a defibrillator device to help treat heart arrhythmias.
Left atrial appendage
The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small pocket near the upper left chamber of your heart. If you have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), your doctor may recommend a closure device to seal this opening. By closing the LAA, patients are at lower risk for blood clots and potential stroke – without the long-term use of blood thinners.
LAA closure devices include the WATCHMAN and the Amplatzer Amulet™. If your doctor recommends open-heart surgery, the Atricure AtriClip device may also be used to close off your LAA.
Mitral valve disease
The mitral valve separates the two left chambers of your heart and serves as a backstop to the main pumping chamber of your heart (the left ventricle). Mitral valve disease is a group of conditions where the valve has been damaged and no longer functions properly.
Tricuspid valve disease
Your tricuspid valve helps regulate blood flow between the two right chambers of your heart. When your tricuspid begins to leak or narrow, your heart is forced to work harder to push blood to the lungs. If left untreated, tricuspid valve disease can lead to congestive heart failure, liver and kidney failure.