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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Structural Heart Disease Program

Structural heart disease refers to defects or abnormalities in the heart’s valves, wall or chambers. Heart defects may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time. Our experts are the most experienced in the region using minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures to treat heart defects.

Our structural heart disease specialists (called interventional cardiologists) are experts in using minimally invasive procedures to treat problems in patients who can’t undergo open-heart procedures. 

Lehigh Valley Heart Institute was one of the first in the country to perform minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). We also offer MitraClip® mitral valve repair. 

We continue to be at the forefront of treatment advancements – and your care.

TAVR aortic valve replacement: "I left the hospital with a Band-Aid"

Structural Heart Disease Program at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute 

If you have structural heart disease, our experts offer you:

Care for all types of heart defects

Our experts treat a wide range of structural heart diseases, including:

  • Heart valve problems, such as regurgitation (valve doesn’t close properly) and stenosis (valve doesn’t open properly) 
  • Circulatory system problems, such as an abnormal connection between an artery and vein (fistula)
  • Holes in the heart, such as septal defects and patent foramen ovale (PFO)

Advanced technology

Lehigh Valley Health Network is home to the region’s first hybrid operating room. This room combines advanced cardiac operating room technology with state-of-the-art heart imaging and cardiac catheterization equipment to offer patients the latest treatments.

Minimally invasive procedures

We offer minimally invasive treatments for structural heart disease. This approach, using a small incision, means less scarring and pain, reduced infection risk and a quicker return to activities. Treatments include:

  • TAVR: To treat aortic stenosis, your doctor places an expandable valve into your heart via a catheter (tiny, hollow tube). Your doctor inserts the catheter into an artery through your groin. We perform a large number of TAVR procedures every year. We also offer a variety of replacement valve sizes, allowing us to get the right valves to more people. 
  • MitraClip®: This device treats mitral valve regurgitation, or leaky valve, in patients who can’t undergo open-heart surgery. Your doctor uses a catheter-based approach to place the device, which clips and closes leaky valves. 
  • Balloon valvuloplasty: To treat narrowed valves, or valve stenosis, your doctor threads a catheter with a balloon on its tip through a blood vessel. The balloon inflates to stretch the valve opening and deflates for removal from the blood vessel. 
  • Septal defect closure: A mesh patch, or plug, is placed over the opening in your heart.
  • WATCHMAN™ device: This permanently implanted closure device lowers stroke risk in people who have heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias.

Dedicated team of experts

Our team of interventional cardiologists, heart surgeons, cardiovascular radiologists and advanced heart imaging specialists work together to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.

Cardiac rehab and other support services

After treatment, you can participate in our cardiac rehab program to get your heart and body stronger. Our support services experts can also help you make heart-healthy lifestyle changes. 
 

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