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Heart Problems Made Worse by Other Conditions


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Some congenital conditions we are born with can affect the heart and require treatment, either when we are young or later as adults. Often these are structural problems that affect the heart valves, the blood vessels and the musculature of the heart. Other problems may be made worse by conditions like diabetes, or acquired conditions such as bacteria or viruses that inflame the heart muscle.


Genetic Testing
Despite the many advanced therapies currently available for a number of congenital heart defects, improved understanding of possible causes help us better define disease risk. For the expert caring for you as an adult with CHD, determining if there is an underlying genetic pattern (deletions, duplications, or mutations) gives important information about other possible organ system involvement that should be checked out, important genetic reproductive risks the family should know about, and other family members for whom genetic testing and additional monitoring are appropriate.

Transthoracic Echocardiogram
In this test, a device (transducer) is pressed firmly against your skin and aims an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart, producing moving images of the working of the heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)
Wires (electrodes) attached to adhesive pads on your skin measure electrical impulses from your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart and abnormal heart rhythms.t. 

Treadmill Stress Test
Your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored while you walk on a treadmill so your doctor may evaluate symptoms, determine your exercise capacity, and seeif exercise provokes abnormal heart rhythms. Treadmill stress tests are sometimes performed with echocardiography. 

Holter Monitor
You may wear a portable ECG that records your heart's activity continuously over one to two days. This test is often done in people with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Exam
A cardiac MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create images of your heart, and is often used in addition to echocardiography to evaluate you for a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.


Trans-septal Left Heart Catheterization
This procedure is done to look for or repair certain heart defects: UHealth is also home to theElaine and Sydney Sussman Cardiac Catheterization Lab, which provides advanced imaging capabilities and pinpoint accuracy for new and complex procedures such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), mitral valve repair and other minimally invasive procedures, such as valvuloplasty, and other coronary and peripheral vascular treatments.

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)
Your doctors may recommend an ICD if you have life-threatening heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. This small device implanted in your chest like a pacemaker continuously monitors your heartbeat. If a life-threatening arrhythmia occurs, the ICD delivers precisely calibrated electrical shocks to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Surgery to Close Holes in the Heart
Two types of abnormal passageways between heart chambers, atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent foramen ovale (PFO) can be expertly repaired, once identified.

Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty
Less invasive than an open-heart valve replacement procedure, this procedure relieves the symptoms of a valve that constricts the amount of blood that can pass through it by threading a small catheter and a balloon through a vein to the valve. Once there, the balloon is inflated to stretch the valve opening to allow more blood to flow through. The balloon is then deflated, guided back through the vessel and removed, with relief of symptoms and a much shorter recovery time.

Transcatheter Aorticvalve Replacement (TAVR)
This minimally invasive alternative for patients who are too high risk for traditional aortic replacement surgery allows an artificial valve to be compressed and fed through a catheter until it reaches your aortic valve. Once in place, a balloon expands the artificial valve and the catheter is removed. So successful, this valve replacement option is now being considered for low risk patients.

MitraClip Procedure
For patients with mitral valve regurgitation (a leaky heart valve that lets blood flow backwards), this minimally invasive procedure inserts a mechanical clamp using a catheter that is guided to your chest through the femoral vein. The clamp reduces leakage and associated symptoms of blood backflow.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expert Care for Congenital Heart Problems. UHealth is home to the Center for Congenital Heart Disease in Children and Adults, which diagnoses, treats and follows patients with these conditions.

Advanced heart failure therapies. Leading-edge treatments include ventricular assist devices and heart transplant. For advanced heart disease, options for treatment go beyond what is available in the community to prolong life and give you or your loved one a second chance.

Multidisciplinary care by recognized specialists in their field.  In complex cases, heart disease care may require the services of a cardiothoracic surgeon, an interventional cardiologist, a lung specialist, a diabetes specialist and a geneticist. Your doctors talk to each other and make sure all specialties involved in your care are on board with a unified treatment plan.

Personalized recommendations.  Whether you have a familial predisposition to high cholesterol or other forms of heart disease, or just want to stay healthy long-term, we keep your goals in mind when developing your screening and treatment schedules.

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