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Structural & Valvular Heart Care

Structural & Valvular Heart Care

You have a structural heart condition if you were born with a heart defect or experience valve or heart wall problems due to wear and tear. Get all the services you need—including innovative new treatments—from UNC REX Healthcare’s structural and valvular care heart specialists.

Treating Heart Valves & Heart Defects

Turn to us when you need one of these advanced procedures.

Valve Repair

If your mitral, aortic or tricuspid valve has trouble controlling blood flow through the heart, a surgeon may reshape or rebuild flaps that open and close the valve. Whenever possible, a UNC REX Healthcare surgeon will perform your procedure using a minimally invasive technique that requires smaller incisions and speeds recovery.

Valve Replacement

Sometimes, a mitral, aortic or tricuspid valve is too damaged for repair. So a surgeon may replace it with a valve made of metal or biological material. Whenever possible, a UNC REX Healthcare surgeon will perform the procedure using a minimally invasive technique that requires smaller incisions and speeds recovery.

If you don’t qualify for surgery to replace the aortic valve, you may benefit from a less-invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

MitraClip®

Your doctor may recommend a new treatment called MitraClip therapy if you don’t qualify for mitral valve surgery. During this procedure, a physician threads a tiny device through an artery in the groin up to your heart and clips the valve to prevent blood from leaking backward.

Valvuloplasty

In a valvuloplasty, a physician threads a tiny balloon through an artery and up to a heart valve that doesn’t open fully because of disease or calcium buildup. When inflated, the balloon widens the valve opening and improves blood flow.

Congenital Heart Defect Correction

Your doctor may recommend a new treatment called MitraClip therapy if you don’t qualify for mitral valve surgery. During this procedure, a physician threads a tiny device through an artery in the groin up to your heart and clips the valve to prevent blood from leaking backward.

WatchmanTM for Atrial Fibrillation Patients

If you have non-valvular atrial fibrillation, the new WatchmanTM device may reduce your risk of stroke. During this procedure, a doctor threads the tiny device through an artery in the groin and up to your heart. Then, the physician places the implant in the left atrial appendage to prevent blood clots from entering the bloodstream and potentially causing a stroke. This treatment offers an alternative to blood-thinning medications.

Conscious Sedation Speeds Recovery

When you choose UNC REX Healthcare for your procedure, you may recover sooner and experience fewer side effects thanks to our use of conscious sedation—rather than general anesthesia—whenever appropriate. You’ll receive anesthetic to prevent pain and a sedative for relaxation, but will stay awake during treatment.

Learn Your Risk

Take an online Heart Aware or Vascular Aware assessment to discover your odds of developing a cardiovascular disease. You’ll find out if you qualify for a free in-person medical screening and consultation.

To find a UNC REX Healthcare physician near you, call 919-784-4490.

Patient Stories

Joy

Joy recalls how the nurses and physicians at UNC REX Healthcare saved her life when she woke up with heart pain in the middle of the night.

Read More

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