Structural Heart Care

Structural Heart

Background on Structural Heart Disease

For the past 50 years cardiology and cardiac surgery have focused on coronary artery disease (heart disease) because it is common and many treatment options are available. Beginning in 1999, heart specialists began to pay special attention to heart problems not related to coronary artery disease, structural problems of the heart that do not affect the vessels, termed “structural heart disease.” The majority of patients with structural heart disease progress to advanced stages of heart failure (NYHA Class III or IV).

While some options for treating structural heart conditions have been available for over 50 years, the rapid advancement of technology has offered new ones, improving the ability to manage these conditions with better outcomes. Previously, patients were referred outside the area for this specialized treatment. Today, specialists at the Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute have the team and the technology required to treat many patients who would have either been left untreated or would have been forced to travel out of town for care. 

Willis-Knighton Structural Heart Goal

Willis-Knighton’s Structural Heart Program seeks to stop the progression of disease and improve patients’ quality of life. The program encourages early identification of high risk patients and offers rapid referral with a call to (318) 212-8580.

Structural Heart Team

The structural heart team at Willis-Knighton takes a multidisciplinary approach and includes:

  • Cardiologists
  • Surgeons
  • Primary care physicians
  • Nurses
  • Imaging specialists
  • Social workers
  • Support staff

What are structural heart defects?

There are several forms of structural heart defects:

  • Congenital – present at birth
  • Result of aging
  • Result of infection
  • Created as the result of another health condition

What are typical symptoms of structural heart disease?

  • Heart murmurs 
  • Migraines 
  • Shortness of breath/ fatigue 
  • Transient ischemic attack/Strokes 
  • Chest Pain/ heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure

These symptoms may indicate: 

  • Moderate or severe valvular heart disease
  • Reduced cardiac ejection fraction
  • Coronary artery disease 
  • Septal wall defects

The WK Heart & Vascular Institute offers the following: