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Structural heart defects encompass a group of problems that may involve the heart’s walls, valves, or blood vessels. These defects may be present at birth or develop as you get older. Common types of structural heart defects include:

  • Aortic valve stenosis: a buildup of calcium deposits on the aortic valve
  • Atrial septal defect: a hole in the wall that separates the two upper chambers in your heart
  • Ventricular septal defect: a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers
  • Patent foramen ovale: a small opening between the two upper chambers that fails to seal after birth 

Symptoms of Structural Heart Defects

Symptoms of structural heart defects vary depending on the condition and the patient. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of the abdomen, ankles or feet
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney dysfunction

Causes of Structural Heart Defects

In most cases, structural heart defects are the result of a congenital defect, meaning it is something that a person is born with. However, sometimes, structural heart defects can happen over time and may be caused by:

  • Atherosclerosis 
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve problems
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug use
  • Cancer treatments

Treatments for Structural Heart Defects

Even when structural defects are congenital, they may not cause symptoms until you’re an adult. Our dedicated team at Advanced Heart and Vein Center will work with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your individual needs.

Schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at Advanced Heart and Vein Center for further evaluation. 

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