Structural Heart & Valve Disease
Structural heart and valve disease is a condition that involves problems with the tissues or valves in the heart. The heart has four valves, and each one has flaps of tissue that open and close with every heartbeat. The flaps make sure blood flows in the right direction. When one or more valves doesn’t open fully or lets blood leak back into the heart chambers, it makes the heart work harder and reduces its ability to pump blood. This can lead to serious health issues.
Structural heart and valve problems often are present at birth (congenital) but also can be caused by infection, heart disease, or heart attack. The condition may have no symptoms and cause no problems, but treatment is needed in other cases. When symptoms are present, they can include chest pain or tightening, shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, leg cramps, migraine headaches, and stroke (including transient ischemic attack, also known as a TIA or mini-stroke).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.
Aortic Valve Replacement
Ernest Tate/TAVR Procedure - Chapter 2
The surgeons and interventional cardiologists of UAB's structural heart program repaired a serious heart issue with minimally invasive techniques instead of traditional open heart surgery.
James Moebes: TAVR Procedure
Wade Gladden - Aortic Valve Stenosis
Charles Estes - Aortic Valve Stenosis
89 year old Charles Estes was not about to let a heart valve problem slow him down. The WWII vet volunteered to be the first person in Alabama to undergo a new minimally invasive procedure for aortic valve replacement.
Transcathether Aortic Valve Replacement procedure puts Selma, Alabama's first black police chief closer to tending his farm.
TAVR procedure restores ailing heart valves
Haywood Fuller traveled to UAB for an accurate diagnosis and lifesaving surgery to correct his heart valve problem.
UABMedicine.org | Lifesaving Heart Surgery at UAB
When Haywood Fuller was 14 years old, he came to UAB for heart surgery. When he developed a heart condition 30 years later, he again trusted the heart specialists at UAB. They diagnosed his condition and got him moving again with lifesaving surgery.
When Sarah Ford found out she needed heart surgery, she made the drive from her home in Dothan to Birmingham to receive treatment at UAB. The experienced surgeons, compassionate staff, and cutting-edge care at UAB made her feel secure and safe.
Heart valve disease affects patients of all ages, but there are effective treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your condition.
Heart Valve Disease
The heart has four valves that are responsible for keeping blood moving through its chambers and around the body. James Davies, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UAB, talks to Daytime Alabama on WVTM-TV, Channel 13, in Birmingham, Ala., about how valve disease can be prevented, detected, and treated.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
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Inside a high-tech heart clinic, doctors look to the past for clues to the future