Innovative Therapies Treat Blood Flow Within and From the Heart
Virtua Health’s Structural Heart Program provides the latest treatments for abnormalities or defects of the heart’s walls, chambers, or valves to correct structural heart problems and improve your quality of life. Structural heart diseases can be diagnosed at birth or can occur later in life due to aging, infection, or injury. While these conditions may not cause any symptoms, they sometimes can decrease the heart’s ability to function and lead to heart failure, heart attack, or stroke.
Virtua’s highly experienced team of cardiac specialists offer an array of advanced, catheter-based procedures including:
Heart valve care: The Virtua team use the latest approaches for valve repair and replacement, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is now available to an even greater number of patients, and MitraClip. Our team also has expertise in minimally invasive surgical approaches for aortic valve replacement and mitral valve repair, which reduce your length of stay in the hospital, recovery time, scarring, and blood loss.
Heart-wall and chamber-defect procedures: Using a catheter-based approach, our specialists often can correct or address abnormalities involving the walls of the heart’s chambers without surgery. These include conditions such as atrial septal defect (ASD), a congenital heart defect in which there’s a hole between the left and right upper chambers of the heart (atria). A similar condition is patent foramen ovale (PFO). For people with PFO, the heart wall fails to close completely after birth, and this can allow a blood clot to pass from the right atrium to the left, potentially blocking a blood vessel to the brain, which can cause a stroke. The Virtua team recently began using the GORE CARDIOFORM Septal Occluder, made of the same material used in waterproof clothing, to close PFO and reduce stroke risk.
Watchman device: People who have an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation can develop clots due to pooling of blood in a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage. If a clot escapes the appendage, it can travel through a blood vessel to the brain and cause a stroke. Working with Virtua heart rhythm specialists, the Structural Heart team seals off the appendage with a device called the Watchman. Similar to other cardiac procedures, the Watchman is inserted into the heart using a catheter and never has to be replaced.