Structural heart program in Aventura

At Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, we have access to the advanced resources of Florida Heart & Vascular Care. Our heart specialists offer patients with advanced and complex valvular and structural heart diseases innovative care near Sunny Isles Beach.

For more information visit Florida Heart & Vascular Care or call (786) 428-1059.

Our program specializes in interventional treatments for patients who do not qualify for conventional open procedures. Our structural heart specialists offer heart valve implantation without surgery, as well as structural heart intervention, which is a catheter-based alternative to open-heart surgery.

Heart conditions we treat

Heart conditions that can be treated through structural heart intervention include:

  • Patent foramen oval (PFO)—A hole in the upper chambers of the heart
  • Atrial septal defec—A hole in the wall between the upper chambers of the heart
  • Ventricular septal defect—A hole in the lower chambers of the heart
  • Arteriovenous malformation—An abnormal connection between the veins and arteries that inhibits bloodflow
  • Left atrial appendage (LAA) blood clot—A blood clot that forms in the left chamber of the heart
  • Aortic stenosis—A narrowed aorta

Aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aorta, the main artery pumping blood from the heart, narrows or stops opening fully. In its early stages, patients experience a decrease in blood flow, chest pain, weakness or fainting. Left untreated aortic stenosis can result in further complications and fatalities.

Whereas open-heart surgery in patients with aortic stenosis is currently still the elective procedure of choice, a high percentage of patients with severe aortic stenosis may be considered too high risk for this conventional surgery. For those patients, Structural heart intervention may provide a healthy alternative to open-heart surgery.

Transcatheter valve therapy

Significant progress has been made over the last decade in the field of transcatheter valve therapy. In this procedure, artificial valves are purified and attached to a metallic frame, similar to that of a stent. The device is compressed over the surface of a balloon catheter.

By creating a small incision at the level of the groin, our structural heart disease team can advance these catheters through the femoral artery or femoral vein to the heart. Once in place, the balloon is inflated at high pressure to expand and deliver the new artificial valve, which has now substituted the damaged valve. The balloon and catheter is then removed. The artificial valve, once delivered inside the native one, assumes its function and replaces it without having to remove it.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

During a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a doctor runs a catheter into a patient's groin, moving it up the femoral artery toward the heart, eventually reaching the aortic valve. A balloon inflates, opening the narrow valve, and a new valve is implanted.

Although patients will need to remain in the hospital for a few days following the replacement, the actual procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete. Compared to a lengthy heart surgery, which involves a recovery that can span over several months, TAVR demands a much smaller interruption of life activities.

Candidates for TAVR

Candidates for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may include:

  • Patients with aortic stenosis who are inoperable
  • Patients with aortic stenosis who are too high risk for conventional open heart surgery