Cardiovascular Care

Center for Heart Valve Disease/Structural Heart Disease

The Center for Heart Valve Disease is one of six centers within our Heart and Vascular Center, a nationally recognized program for highly specialized cardiovascular care.

The center treats the most complex of valvular and structural heart disease by marrying clinical expertise with sophisticated diagnostic technologies and state-of-the-art treatments.

Frequently asked questions 

The heart’s job is to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Blood always flows through the body in the same pattern, and along the way, it passes through four valves that are part of the structure of the heart: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valves. Each valve has cusps (flaps) that open and close with each heartbeat, ensuring blood flows in the right direction through your heart’s four chambers and to the rest of your body.

Heart valve disease is any condition that prevents your valves from functioning properly. Birth defects, age-related changes, infections or other conditions can cause one or more of your heart valves to malfunction, which can make your heart work harder and affect its ability to pump blood.

Heart valves can have two basic problems:

  1. Regurgitation (backflow) occurs if a valve doesn’t close tightly enough. Blood leaks back into the chambers rather than flowing forward through the heart or into an artery.
  2. Stenosis occurs if the flaps of a valve thicken, stiffen or fuse together. This prevents the heart valve from fully opening, and as a result, not enough blood flows through the valve.
  • Age-related changes
  • Birth defects
  • Advanced high blood pressure and heart failure
  • Atherosclerosis (plaque buildup inside the arteries)
  • Damage and scar tissue due to a heart attack or injury to the heart
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Infective endocarditis (infection in the lining of the heart walls and valves)

 

A common sign of heart valve disease is an unusual heartbeat sound called a heart murmur. Your doctor can hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope. However, many people have heart murmurs without having heart valve disease or any other heart problems. Heart valve disease often worsens over time, so signs and symptoms may occur years after a heart murmur is first detected.

Some people with heart valve disease experience these symptoms:

  • Heart murmur/irregular heartbeat
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath with activity or when laying down
  • Swelling of ankles and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting

Accurately diagnosing heart valve disease is vital for proper treatment. NCH uses sophisticated technology that can detect heart valve disease, even before symptoms start, including:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise/stress test
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Cardiac catheterization/coronary angiogram

After you’ve been diagnosed with valvular disease, you will be referred to our Valve Clinic where you’ll meet one-on-one with members of the team who will discuss treatment options with you, including surgical versus minimally invasive procedures. They will work closely with you throughout the entire process and develop a personalized treatment and recovery plan.

Conditions

Conditions treated at the Center for Heart Valve Disease include aortic valve disease, bicuspid aortic valve disease and mitral valve disease.

Treatments

Our Center for Heart Valve Disease offers leading-edge surgical and minimally invasive techniques.

Center for Heart Valve Disease/Structural Heart Disease Physicians
Heart Valve Disease/Structural Heart Disease Treatment Locations
NCH Cardiac Diagnostics
NCH Cardiac Diagnostics

1632 W. Central Road

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-618-3700

X.X mi

NCH Cardiac Diagnostics
NCH Cardiac Diagnostics

880 W. Central Road

Floor 1

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-618-3700

X.X mi

NCH Cardiac Diagnostics
NCH Cardiac Diagnostics

199 W. Rand Road

Mount Prospect, IL 60056

847-618-3700

X.X mi

NCH Cardiac Diagnostics
NCH Cardiac Diagnostics

21481 N. Rand Road

Kildeer, IL 60047

847-618-3700

X.X mi

NCH Hospital and Emergency Department
NCH Hospital and Emergency Department

800 W. Central Road

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-618-1000

X.X mi

NCH Medical Group Cardiology
NCH Medical Group Cardiology

880 W. Central Road

Suite 7100

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-618-2500

X.X mi

NCH Medical Group Cardiology
NCH Medical Group Cardiology

1632 W. Central Road

Arlington Heights, IL 60005

847-618-2500

X.X mi

NCH Medical Group Primary and Specialty Care
NCH Medical Group Primary and Specialty Care

21481 N. Rand Road

Kildeer, IL 60047

847-618-9696 847-618-9695

X.X mi

NCH Medical Group Primary and Specialty Care
NCH Medical Group Primary and Specialty Care

199 W. Rand Road

Suite 203

Mount Prospect, IL 60056

847-618-5450

X.X mi

© 2020 Northwest Community Healthcare. All rights reserved.