Valvular and Structural Heart Disease
Choose UNC Medical Center’s Heart Valve Clinic if you’re seeking treatment for a structural heart condition or defect in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Structural heart conditions include damage to or flaws in your heart’s valves, chambers or walls that interrupt the flow of blood. These conditions may develop before birth or later in life.
Specialized Heart Valve Clinic Team
Take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of a leading academic medical center’s cross-disciplinary team to treat your structural heart condition or defect without the need for open-heart surgery. Fellowship-trained interventional cardiologists—along with cardiac surgeons, radiologists, a cardiology nurse practitioner and cardiology and cardiac surgery nurses—are part of the UNC Medical Center Heart Valve Clinic team, working together to deliver exceptional care.
Get the support you need from the dedicated staff in the catheterization lab and surgical suite who work only with the Heart Valve team. We also rely on cardiac anesthesiologists–very few heart valve centers offer this committed resource–who work on all structural heart condition procedures at UNC Medical Center.
At UNC Medical Center’s Heart Valve Clinic, you benefit from comprehensive structural heart condition treatments using FDA-approved devices. Using catheter-based, nonsurgical procedures and hybrid surgical approaches (surgical and imaging together) to improve or repair your condition, we offer treatments including:
- Alcohol septal ablation
- Atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale closures
- Coronary artery fistula closure – Uses a patch, stitches or a catheter-delivered coil to close or plug an abnormal connection between one of the coronary arteries and a heart chamber or another blood vessel
- MitraClip – Implants a device through a catheter that allows better mitral valve closure and reduces the leakiness of the valve
- Mitral valve repair – Uses small incisions and specialized hand-held instruments or a robotic device to access and repair your heart valve and restore proper blood flow
- Paravalvular leak closures – Inserts plugs or coils in the gaps next to a previously placed replacement valve to stop leaking
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
- Valvuloplasty – Threads a balloon-tipped catheter into a narrowed aortic, pulmonary, tricuspid or mitral heart valve, and repeatedly inflates the balloon to enlarge the valve opening and improve blood flow
- Ventricular septal defect closure – Uses a patch or device to close or plug a hole in the septum between your right and left ventricle
What to Expect During Your Visit
Experience our streamlined approach to services that means you can easily get all your care in one location during your visit to Chapel Hill. A typical visit includes cardiac diagnostic imaging tests, such as echocardiogram or ultrasound of heart and chest CT scan.
In the morning, you also may take care of blood work, a chest X-ray and pulmonary function testing. And in the afternoon, you’ll consult at the same time with a Heart Valve Clinic interventional cardiologist and cardiac surgeon to talk about imaging and diagnostic results and treatment options.
High-Level, Personalized Care
During your visit, our Heart Valve team spends a lot of time getting to know you and your family. The team discusses your lifestyle and home environment and considers family input with you to evaluate the best approach to your care. Afterward, you will have a direct line of communication with the Heart Valve team nurse practitioner to answer your questions.
Dedicated Patient Conference
You can feel confident about our Heart Valve Clinic treatment approach because we dedicate time in a weekly patient conference for our multidisciplinary specialists to review your imaging, history and condition–along with your primary care provider or referring provider if they choose–and jointly develop the best treatment plan for you. Our collaborative approach helps ensure a smooth transition to your provider after Heart Valve Clinic specialty care. A Heart Valve Clinic team member will go through your recommended treatment plan with you and your caregivers and you will make the final decision about how to proceed.
When needed, our team can call on geriatric colleagues, dietitians and physical therapists to help with preconditioning that boosts your nutritional and physical status before a procedure.