What is structural heart disease?

Your heart is a muscular pump that has four chambers and four valves: mitral, aortic, tricuspid and pulmonary. The valves open and close to keep blood flowing through your heart. Structural heart disease, or valvular disease, occurs when something is wrong with one of the valves, the blood can’t flow in and out of the heart properly. Problems with the heart valves can cause leaks (valve regurgitation) and blockages (valve stenosis).

Structural heart disease causes

Sometimes, structural heart disease is congenital (present at birth). In other cases, structural heart disease can be caused by a variety of factors, including: 

Structural heart disease symptoms

The symptoms you may experience with structural heart disease depend upon the exact condition you have. Signs and symptoms can include: 

  • Chest pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia
  • Kidney problems 
  • Leg cramps 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Stroke 
  • Tightening in the chest 
  • Transient ischemic attacks (TIA), or “mini strokes”

Structural heart disease treatment

In some cases, you may not need immediate treatment for your structural heart disease. In these cases, your cardiologist will recommend ongoing monitoring. If you do need to undergo treatment for structural heart disease, you may need one or more of the following: 

  • Cardiac device, such as a pacemaker
  • Medication 
  • Procedure to bypass or open up coronary arteries 
  • Procedure to repair or replace valves
  • Heart transplant

Why Ohio State is the best hospital for your structural heart disease treatment

The Ohio State University Heart and Vascular Center’s Structural Heart Disease Program is a leader in providing patients with heart valve disease access to the newest and most advanced treatments.

Ohio State is one of only a handful of centers in Ohio offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for aortic valve regurgitation or aortic valve stenosis. We are currently participating in a variety of clinical trials, evaluating groundbreaking therapies in patients with structural heart disease.

Our dedicated program for structural heart disease offers you access to the most advanced treatments and options for every condition. We’ve assembled a team of experts, including interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, dedicated nursing staff and other specialists, to ensure you receive the most comprehensive care available.

Our team can evaluate your condition and provide treatment options for you — whether this is your initial consultation or you’re looking for a second opinion. Our advanced treatment options are giving new hope to patients who previously weren’t considered candidates for treatment due to advanced age or condition.

Learn more about structural heart disease

Learn more about structural heart disease

Advancing care for heart valve diseases at Ohio State

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Minimally invasive treatment for severe aortic stenosis

How the TAVR Procedure Works

This video shows how the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure is performed.

Our Leaders

Our leaders

Michael Vallely

Michael Vallely, MBBS, PhD

Surgical Director, Structural Heart Disease Program

Michael Vallely, MBBS, PhD, is a cardiac surgeon and surgical director of the Ohio State Structural Heart Disease program. Dr. Vallely has more than 10 years of experience, including total arterial, anaortic, off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery. He also specializes in complex and minimally invasive surgeries.

Scott Lilly, MD, PhD

Scott Lilly, MD, PhD, is an interventional cardiologist and co-director of the Ohio State Structural Heart Disease program. Dr. Lilly specializes in treating aortic valve disorders. 

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