Your heart beats roughly 100,000 times a day. It’s the pump that pushes oxygen-rich blood to every part of your body. When it doesn’t work correctly and there’s a problem with a part of your heart, you have structural heart disease. You’ll need specialized care to fix it.

At Baptist Health, we have a multidisciplinary team of specialists who can deliver the comprehensive, compassionate care you need. We’re well versed in a wide range of structural heart disease treatment options that can improve your quality of life.

We’re ready to be the partner that can strengthen your heart so you can enjoy a longer, more active life.

Our Approach to Structural Heart Disease Care

Our Approach to Structural Heart Disease Care

Within our structural heart program, we are innovators. Our priority is giving you access to the latest, most effective procedures to fix the problems in your heart. Inside our hybrid operating room, we use advanced imaging technologies to enhance our structural heart procedures. And whenever we can, we use minimally invasive therapies. That means you’ll have a faster recovery and spend less time in the hospital.

But our dedication to exceptional structural heart treatment goes beyond the clinic. We’re also at the forefront of developing new, more effective treatment options that will improve outcomes.

Photo of Gabriel Paolo
"The attention at Baptist Health was excellent,” he recalls. “I would not have gotten that kind of treatment anywhere else. Dr. Quesada and his team have a desire to help. You feel that when you meet him. He’s very warm and you can tell his goal is to heal."

What is Structural Heart Disease?

Structural heart disease occurs when you have an abnormality or defect in one or more parts of your heart. You may have been born with a defect (congenital) or developed one from aging, injury or infection. These problems make it harder for your heart to pump blood, putting you at increased risk for major heart problems like heart failure or heart attack.

If you have structural heart disease, abnormalities could appear in these parts of your heart:

  • Chambers
  • Major arteries carrying blood away from the heart
  • Muscle
  • Valves
  • Walls between the chambers

At first, you may not notice any symptoms of structural heart disease. But over time, you may start to experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Kidney problems
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in your abdomen, ankles or feet

Types of Structural Heart Disease We Treat

Structural heart disease can develop for several reasons. It can be the result of a birth defect, infection, heart failure, high blood pressure or even a heart attack. Whatever the reason, our highly trained specialists have the expertise to treat your condition.

We use leading-edge technologies and the most advanced medications to treat:

  • Heart valve disease
  • Aortic stenosis or regurgitation
  • Mitral valve prolapse or stenosis
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis or regurgitation
  • Tricuspid valve stenosis or regurgitation
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Atrial septal defect (a hole in your heart)
  • Patent foramen ovale (a hole in your heart from birth)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Diagnosing Structural Heart Disease

It takes different approaches to detect and diagnose structural heart disease for children and adults. An ultrasound technique — fetal echocardiography — uses sound waves to easily detect defects in children at or before birth.

It’s harder to identify these problems in adults. That’s why the specialists in our structural heart program use next-generation technologies to catch these problems as soon as possible. To give you the quick diagnosis you need, we rely on these sophisticated, leading-edge diagnostic heart testing tools:

  • Cardiac computed tomography (CT)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (an exam that records your heart’s electrical signals)

In some cases, we may need more information to design the best structural heart disease treatment plan for you. A catheterization procedure can help us find any areas in your blood vessels that are blocked or narrowed.

Structural Heart Disease Procedures

The highly skilled cardiac surgeons in our structural heart program are trained to deliver the best quality care through the most advanced traditional and minimally invasive techniques. Whenever possible, we use the least invasive structural heart procedures to treat your condition. Talk with your doctor about the surgery option that is best for you.

  • During a high-risk procedure, your surgeon may use an Impella heart pump to help maintain your blood flow. They guide this small device to your heart’s main pumping chamber with a long, thin tube (a catheter) that is inserted through a small cut (incision) in your leg where it pushes oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body.

  • Your surgeon uses X-ray or echocardiography guidance to thread a catheter that carries a plug through an incision in your groin up to your heart. They use the plug to close a hole in the wall that separates the top two chambers of your heart (an atrial septal defect).

  • During this minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon uses X-ray imaging to examine your blood vessels and guide a catheter carrying a tiny balloon to your blocked artery. They inflate the balloon and implant a metal-mesh coil (a stent) to keep your artery open, encouraging better blood flow.

  • Your surgeon may recommend an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator that can send electrical shocks to keep your heart in rhythm. Based on your specific needs, they may also suggest destroying thickened heart muscle (ablation) or removing part of the thicker, overgrown wall between your heart’s chambers.

  • Using a catheter under X-ray or echocardiography guidance, your surgeon closes a hole (present since birth) in the wall between your heart’s top two chambers.

  • During this procedure, your surgeon inserts a catheter carrying a tiny balloon through an incision in your groin and threads it to your heart. When it reaches your narrowed heart valve, they inflate the balloon to widen the valve.

  • Using a catheter inserted through the femoral artery or vein in your leg, your surgeon threads a wire to your heart to find a leak around a previously implanted artificial aortic or mitral valve. They implant a closure device that works like a plug to stop the leak.

  • In this minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon uses X-ray guidance to thread a catheter through a small incision in your groin or chest to your aortic valve. Using special tools, they implant a replacement aortic valve.

  • During this minimally invasive procedure, your surgeon uses ultrasound guidance to thread a catheter carrying a small device called MitraClip® through an incision in your groin up to your heart. They use MitraClip® to help the mitral valve close better and stop leaking.

Meet our Structural Heart Disease Specialists

Our outstanding multidisciplinary team includes interventional cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons who can deliver the most advanced care for your structural heart disease. Learn more about the physicians who are here to serve you.

Interventional Cardiologists

To schedule with our team of Interventional Cardiologists in Miami-Dade County, call 786-204-4200

Cardiac Surgeons

To schedule with our team of Cardiac Surgeons in Miami-Dade County, call 786-596-1230

To schedule with our team of Cardiac Surgeons in Palm Beach County, call 561-955-6300

Structural Heart Disease Clinical Trials

At Baptist Health Heart & Vascular Care, research and innovation are a vital part of the structural heart disease care we provide. We’re passionate about improving patient experience, so we continuously investigate new treatments and procedures that can improve outcomes. If you’re interested in being a partner in our research and want to learn more about our clinical trials, talk with your doctor or look through our list of ongoing trials.

Our Locations

Find one of our heart and vascular locations closest to you in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

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