Treating Defects in Heart Valves, Walls and Chambers

If you have a defect in your heart's valves, walls or chambers, then you most likely have structural heart disease. These defects can already be present when you're born (congenital heart disease) or they may develop later in life, caused by an illness, infection, aging, or another heart condition. Structural heart diseases can lead to other serious conditions such as blood clots, heart failure, arrhythmia or cardiac arrest.

The most common types of structural heart disease are:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital heart diseases such as atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Tricuspid and pulmonic valve disease

Risk factors for developing structural heart disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Taking certain medications
  • Have had a previous heart attack, rheumatic fever, endocarditis, cardiomyopathy or certain other infections

Find a Doctor

To make an appointment with a cardiologist, please contact our physician referral line at 800-322-8322 or search for a physician online.


Heart specialists at the Cardiovascular Institute of Carolina at Aiken Regional Medical Centers are highly trained in using advanced technologies for treating structural heart disease. We use minimally invasive procedures when open heart surgery may be too risky for a patient. These procedures provide several advantages, such as little to no scarring, less blood loss, decreased pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and fewer complications.*

Your surgeon and cardiologist will work together to determine the best course of treatment for you.


The WATCHMAN FLX™ implant is a minimally invasive, one-time procedure that reduces stroke risk without the worry that comes with lifelong blood thinners.

Learn More about WATCHMAN FLX™

Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

Everyone has a hole between the left and right upper chambers of the heart before birth, but it normally closes shortly after being born. If the hole does not close naturally after birth, it's called a PFO.

A PFO closure is performed to permanently seal the hole. This is done through a minimally invasive procedure called a cardiac catheterization. Open heart surgery is no longer used to treat this condition unless another surgery is being performed at the same time.

*Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive surgery is right for you.