Structural heart and valve disease care

Look to Spectrum Health for advanced structural heart disease treatments from collaborative specialists—right here in West Michigan. Our experience and team approaches means we can help even the most high-risk patients improve their symptoms and quality of life.

What is structural heart disease?

Structural heart disease is a problem with the heart’s tissues or valves.

Understanding your heart’s valves

Heart valves keep blood flowing in one direction through your heart’s upper chambers (atria) and lower chambers (ventricles). Your heart has four valves:

  • Tricuspid valve – Between the right atrium and right ventricle
  • Pulmonary valve – Between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery (the artery that carries blood to your lungs to gather oxygen and release carbon dioxide)
  • Mitral valve – Between the left atrium and left ventricle
  • Aortic valve – Between the left ventricle and the aorta (the main artery that carries blood away from your heart)

Conditions we treat

Find care for a wide range of problems with your heart’s anatomy, including:

  • Heart valve regurgitation – Leaky heart valve that lets blood flow backward
  • Heart valve stenosis – Narrowed heart valve that doesn’t fully open
  • Hole in the wall between the atria – such as atrial septal defect (ASD) or patent foramen ovale (PFO)
  • Paravalvular leak – Space between a prosthetic valve and your heart tissue
  • Ventricular septal rupture – Hole in the wall between the ventricles due to a heart attack

Personalized care plan

Work with your Spectrum Health cardiologist to create a care plan that’s right for you. We’ll: 

  • Help you understand your condition 
  • Talk about your goals and preferences 
  • Discuss treatments that are safe and effective for your diagnosis, age, overall health and more.

Treatment Options

Heart valve repair or replacement

If valve surgery is the best treatment for your heart valve problem, you’ll be in good hands with experienced doctors and surgeons at Spectrum Health. Our dedication to bringing new technology and high-tech materials to West Michigan means more options for people who were once too high risk to consider valve repair or replacement.

Catheter-based heart valve procedures

Some heart valve treatments can be done using thin, flexible tubes called catheters. The catheters are placed in a blood vessel in your thigh or chest. Then, your doctor uses imaging technology to guide the catheter to your heart. This approach means you may experience less pain and scaring, a quicker recovery and lower risk of complications. 

Catheter-based heart valve procedures available at Spectrum Health include: 

  • Paravalvular leak closure 
  • Percutaneous mitral valve clip (MitraClip™) placement for mitral valve regurgitation 
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for aortic valve stenosis 
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) for mitral valve regurgitation, as part of a national clinical trial
  • Balloon valvuloplasty for aortic valve stenosis and rheumatic mitral stenosis
Robot-assisted valve repair

If you need mitral valve repair, you may benefit from robot-assisted surgery

During the procedure, your surgeon controls robotic arms that can smoothly turn and twist further than the human hand. The machine also gives your doctor a high-definition 3D view of your heart. This technology allows your surgeon to use smaller incisions, which means you may have a quicker recovery and smaller scars. 

Spectrum Health uses robotic-assisted surgery for mitral valve repair three times more often than the national average. So, you can feel confident we have the experience to care for you.

Open heart valve surgery

During open heart valve surgery, your surgeon opens your chest, splitting your sternum (breastbone) to access your heart. During surgery, you’re connected to a heart-lung bypass machine. This machine circulates oxygenated blood through your body while your surgical team works on your heart. 

Trust a surgical team with experience in: 

  • Aortic valve repair or replacement 
  • Mitral valve repair or replacement

PFO or ASD Closure

During a minimally invasive PFO or ASD closure, your doctor places a thin, flexible tube (catheter) in a blood vessel. He or she uses imaging technology to guide the catheter to your heart. Then, your doctor secures a tiny, umbrella-like device in your heart to block the hole. 

ASD and PFO closure can help reduce your risk of stroke.

Get a Second Opinion

Feel certain you’re getting the best care with a second opinion at Spectrum Health.