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Structural Heart Disease Specialist in Washington DC

What is Structural Heart Disease?

Structural heart disease refers to defects within your heart. This may include any problem that affects your heart valves and tissues that form your heart.

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What Causes Structural Heart Disease?

Congenital heart disease (CHD) – Present at birth

One common cause of structural heart disease is poor development of the heart prior to birth. If you have a congenital heart defect, it means you were born with a problem in the structure of your heart. It is the most common birth defect. These are sometimes noticed right at birth or within a few months of life.

There are also cases where structural heart diseases aren’t diagnosed  until later childhood. Depending on the severity, some congenital heart defects are simple and don’t need treatment. Other congenital heart defects  are more complex and may require several surgeries performed over a period of several years. CHDs can vary from mild, such as a small hole in the heart, to severe, such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart.

Later Onset – Develop over time

Structural heart disease can develop over time through wear and tear or as a result of another disease. Some structural heart conditions develop due to aging, injury, or infection. More than 10 percent of adults over age 75 have some type of structural heart disease.

Types of Structural Heart Disease

There are many types of structural heart disease.

Five of the most common include:

  1. Atrial septal defect – a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart
  2. Ventricular septal defect – a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart
  3. Patent foramen ovale- when the hole between the two upper chambers does not close after the baby is born
  4. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – abnormally thick heart muscle resulting in poor blood pumping
  5. Heart valve disease (stenosis or regurgitation)- issues with valves closing or thickening, resulting in poor blood flow

Symptoms of Structural Heart Disease

Symptoms of structural heart disease can range from severe to mild, depending on the condition. If you have a severe structural heart defect, this will likely be noticed soon after birth.

Severe symptoms may include:

  • Pale gray or blue skin color (cyanosis)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swelling in the legs, belly or areas around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath during feedings

Signs and symptoms of structural heart disease later on may include:

  • Easily becoming short of breath during exercise or activity
  • Easily tiring during exercise or activity
  • Fainting during exercise or activity
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles or feet
  • Chest pain or tightness

If you suspect a structural heart disease, contact Dr. Trujillo right away. There is power in peace of mind, knowing that your heart is in good hands.

Treatment Options for Structural Heart Disease

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with a structural heart disease, there are many options available. We will work with you on a treatment plan that you feel comfortable with and fits your needs.

  • Diagnostic testing – these tests are performed to identify the type of structural heart disease
  • Prescribed medications – you may be prescribed certain medications to see an improvement of symptoms, such as blood thinners
  • Minimally-invasive surgery – there are advancements in heart procedures that can be performed with a catheter guided through your blood vessels to your heart to keep scarring and discomfort to a minimum
  • Implanted device – you may chose to use a defibrillator or pacemaker to help regulate your heart
  • Surgery to repair or replace heart valves – this is frequently performed to help improve the function of your heart

If you need treatment for structural heart disease, call us today or schedule an appointment online.

Living with Structural Heart Disease

Because the heart is such an essential part of our daily life, it is vital to keep up with regular checkups. If you have a structural heart disease, you may be at risk for developing other health problems over time. For example, you may be at risk for developing an irregular heart beat, increased risk of infection in the heart muscle, or weakness in the heart.

With the help of Dr. Trujillo, we will make sure you get the answers you need to manage your disease and live a healthy life. There are many options available for you to live a happy life with structural heart disease.

How We Can Help

Dr. Trujillo performs advanced on-site diagnostic testing. We can help answer your questions about heart disease and give you the personal attention you deserve. We offer an individualized treatment plan that targets your type of structural heart disease.

Schedule a Consultation for Structural Heart Disease Treatment in Washington, DC Today!

If you have been diagnosed with structural heart disease, cardiologist Dr. John Trujillo will work with you and continue to and help you navigate this road to life with a healthy heart.  For more information on the treatment options available, please call (301) 634-4800 or request an appointment online today!