Good Samaritan Hospital
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Understanding Structural Heart Disease

Structural heart disease is not a single condition but rather a group of diseases that are related to abnormalities in the heart muscle. If you have a structural heart condition, you will need a cardiac care specialist to monitor your health and determine a treatment plan. Here is a closer look at what you need to know about structural heart disease.

What causes structural heart disease?
Structural heart disease is sometimes the result of a congenital defect. In other instances, an infection, underlying condition, or age-related wear-and-tear may cause structural heart disease. The cause of your structural heart disease may help your cardiac care specialist determine a treatment plan. Structural heart disease is non-coronary, so it doesn’t involve the blood vessels like coronary heart disease does, though having coronary heart disease may increase your risk.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of structural heart disease can vary, depending on the type of structural abnormality. Some of the most common symptoms associated with this kind of heart disease include fatigue, leg cramping, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and chest pain. Shortness of breath and heart palpitations may also occur. Some people with structural heart disease may have migraines and may experience either a transient ischemic attack, or TIA, or a full-blown stroke.

What treatments are available?
Treating structural heart disease depends on the nature of the condition, the severity of your symptoms, and how you have responded to other treatments. Some patients are able to take medications that control the symptoms of their structural heart disease, while others need surgery. Transcatheter procedures can also be helpful, especially for patients who are unable to undergo surgery safely.

Get the cardiac care in San Jose you need at Good Samaritan Hospital. In addition to our state-of-the-art cardiac care department, our hospital is home to an extensive range of medical services. For a referral to a cardiac specialist or more information about our hospital, call (888) 724-2362.