St. Vincent's Structural Heart Disease

Heart and valve care in Chicagoland

Cardiologists and heart surgeons at Ascension Illinois in greater Chicagoland deliver advanced heart and valve care.

As you need more complex and advanced care for the health of your heart, Ascension Illinois in greater Chicagoland is ready with treatment that is right for you.

  • Experienced cardiovascular specialists that listen to your needs
  • Care teams that work together with you
  • Leading technologies and advanced treatment options
  • Connecting the dots across our health network
  • Follow-up care and rehab to get you back to your life

We deliver advanced, specialized care for chronic heart conditions and heart valve disease. Your doctor starts by listening to you, to better understand you and your health. Then, we work with you to create a personalized care plan that meets all of your heart care needs, including diagnostic tests, minimally invasive procedures, ongoing care and medication management, and cardiac rehabilitation.


Offering minimally invasive heart valve replacement

If you have aortic valve disease, your doctor may recommend replacing your aortic valve. Ascension Illinois Heart & Vascular Institute’s Heart Valve Program was first in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to perform TAVR.This procedure, also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive surgery. Other health conditions and the size of your blood vessels may impact your ability to have TAVR. Although this procedure may not be an option for everyone, talk with your doctor about TAVR and other treatment options that are right for you.

TAVR can help treat the signs and symptoms of aortic valve stenosis, one of the most common serious heart valve problems. Aortic valve stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic heart valve, which prevents the valve from opening and closing properly. Symptoms of aortic stenosis include chest pain and feeling of tightness with activity, fatigue, shortness of breath with activity, feeling faint with activity and rapid heartbeat.

The TAVR procedure replaces your old heart valve, so oxygen-rich blood flows in the right direction — through your heart and body. With minimally invasive valve replacement, your doctor uses a small incision for valve placement and repair. Some people go home the same day after a TAVR procedure, or you might stay the night in the hospital for additional monitoring. Ask your doctor about a TAVR evaluation to see if valve replacement or another surgical option is right for you.


Specialists in structural heart and valve surgery

Heart and valve problems can lead to heart attack or progressive heart failure, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about early treatment options. For some heart valve conditions, surgery may be recommended. Whenever possible, our network of heart specialists perform cardiac surgeries using minimally invasive techniques. Minimally invasive procedures may help shorten your recovery time and lower your risk of complications. Ask your doctor about your minimally invasive surgery options. Surgeries to correct a heart valve problem include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR): A minimally invasive heart procedure in which your doctor uses a small catheter to replace a damaged valve with a new one. With a TAVR procedure, the hospital stay is shorter, generally 1-2 days, and the return to full activity is often quicker than open heart surgery.
  • MitraClip™: During the MitraClip procedure, your heart team will insert the small clip using a thin tube that is inserted into a vein in your leg and guided to your heart. This small clip allows your mitral valve to close more completely, helping to restore normal blood flow through your heart.
  • Left atrial appendage closure using the WATCHMAN™ device: When you have AFib, your heart beats irregularly. This can cause blood to clot and lead to a stroke. When the WATCHMAN™ device is inserted, it closes off the area in your heart where blood tends to pool and can reduce your risk for stroke.


Get a second opinion from a heart specialist

If you have a new diagnosis or need a cardiac treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about when facing a cardiovascular health issue. Getting a second opinion provides more information about your condition and can also help you feel more confident in the doctor and the care plan you choose. If you’re looking for a second opinion, specialists at Ascension Illinois are here for you. Consider getting a second opinion if:

  • Your diagnosis or prognosis is unclear
  • You’ve been told you have a rare or life-threatening condition
  • You would like to explore more treatment options
  • Your treatment options are costly or risky
  • You want to hear an opinion from another specialist
  • You want to find a new doctor with a new care plan
  • Your insurance requires a second opinion


Heart care that focuses on the whole you

Your doctors, specialists and care team collaborate, working together for you and with you. Your doctor listens to understand your healthcare needs, new symptoms and goals. And all your caregivers communicate and collaborate as a team. At Ascension Illinois, your care team supports you before, during and after your heart valve surgery, to help you return to the regular daily activities and those you love. Your doctor will work with you to monitor your heart health over time, including cardiac rehab and medication management.


Financial assistance and support is available

We can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial counseling team is here to listen to your concerns and work with you to help find options that meet your needs.

If you are experiencing chest pain, especially in combination with jaw or arm pain, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting or difficulty breathing, you might be having a heart attack. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

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