Structural heart disease specialists in Austin, Texas

Structural heart disease refers to defects in the heart’s valves, walls or chambers. Structural heart defects may be present from birth (congenital) or develop over time.

At the Heart Hospital of Austin and St. David's South Austin Medical Center, our cardiovascular experts specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of structural heart diseases.

For more information about our treatment options for structural heart disease, call the Heart Hospital of Austin at (512) 407-7000 or St. David’s South Austin Medical Center at (512) 477-2211.

Advanced treatment for structural heart diseases

Open heart surgery was previously the traditional method for treating structural heart diseases and valvular disorders. However, we offer catheter-based valve replacement, which provides a less invasive alternative for patients deemed too high risk for traditional surgery. Additionally, this minimally invasive approach offers benefits such as reduced pain, a quicker recovery and a shortened hospital stay.

Our structural heart program provides innovative, multispecialty surgical heart care for patients with advanced and complex valvular and structural heart diseases. A specialized team, including cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists, works together to deliver an effective, comprehensive plan of treatment for each patient.

Structural heart diseases we treat

We treat a variety of structural heart diseases, such as:

  • Atrial septal defect (a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of your heart)
  • Constrictive pericarditis (chronic inflammation of the sac-like membrane surrounding the heart)
  • Heart murmur (abnormal sounds during the heartbeat cycle caused by irregular blood flow)
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy ( heart muscle becomes abnormally thick)
  • Valve prolapse (valve flaps of the mitral valve do not close smoothly or evenly)
  • Valve regurgitation (leaking heart valves)
  • Valve stenosis (valve does not open properly)

Treatments we offer

We offer a wide range of services to effectively treat structural heart disease, including:

  • Alcohol septal ablation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Catheter-based closure of atrial septal defects
  • Catheter-based closure of valve leaks in high-risk or inoperable patients
  • Catheter-based closure of ventricular septal defects
  • Hybrid approaches for coronary and valvular heart diseases
  • Mitral and aortic valvuloplasty
  • Paravalvular leak repair
  • Percutaneous closure of:
    • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
    • Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
    • Ventricular septal defect
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Transcatheter mitral valve repair/replacement (TMVR)

Types of structural heart doctors

Understanding the distinction between a regular cardiologist and a structural heart doctor can be a bit challenging. Simply put, while a cardiologist oversees your general heart health, a structural heart specialist focuses on specific internal heart issues.

When seeking the expertise of a structural heart specialist, they will still be referred to as a cardiologist. However, our structural heart cardiologists are notably more specialized and undergo extensive training in their field.

In addressing structural heart issues, you may also collaborate with other medical professionals, such as:

  • Cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Cardiovascular surgeons
  • Electrophysiologists
  • Vascular surgeons