Saving Hearts from Surgery

Structural Heart team uses the latest technology and techniques to provide a less invasive option.

At Riverside, our Structural Heart team works to evaluate, manage and treat patients with structural heart diseases. In the past, patients with structural heart disease would require surgical repair as their only option, but now we are able to offer less invasive options to our patients.

What is structural heart disease?
Structural heart disease occurs when there is an abnormality or defect in the structure of one of the components of the heart, such as the valves, chambers, muscle, or the major arteries that transport blood from the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body.
The Structural Heart team here at Riverside works to provide the latest technology and techniques to deliver top-quality patient care and treatments while keeping you close to home. We use a comprehensive team approach to ensure that the most effective and efficient methods are used to treat your condition.

Vikas Patel, MD
Vikas Patel, MD

The Riverside Heart & Vascular Institute Structural Heart team has completed extensive training and is led by interventional cardiologist Vikas Patel, MD. Two of the main procedures performed by the Riverside Structural Heart team are TAVR and WATCHMAN.

TAVR, which stands for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, is used as a treatment option for patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. The minimally invasive TAVR procedure is performed in Riverside’s state-of-the-art interventional suites. The procedure involves guiding a catheter through the patient’s artery to replace the diseased valve in the heart.

TAVR offers safe relief of symptoms caused by aortic valve stenosis, such as shortness of breath, chest pain and blackouts. It also reduces the progression of heart failure.

“Bringing TAVR to Riverside speaks to the innovative and patient-centered care
we strive to deliver,” says Dr. Patel. “As TAVR becomes the standard of care for patients with severe aortic stenosis, we’re committed to continuing to give our patients the best treatment available.”

WATCHMAN is implanted into your heart in a one-time procedure. It is a permanent device that doesn’t have to be replaced and can’t be seen outside the body.

To implant WATCHMAN, your doctor makes a small cut in your upper leg and inserts a narrow tube, as done in a standard stent procedure. Your doctor then guides WATCHMAN into the left atrial appendage of your heart. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Patients commonly stay in the hospital overnight and leave the next day.

The WATCHMAN implant may be a life-changing alternative to the lifelong use of blood thinners for those who need one. In a one-time procedure, the WATCHMAN implant effectively reduces the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem.

Innovation in the treatment of heart disease does not stop with TAVR and WATCHMAN, however. Dr. Patel and his team plan to bring other advanced heart procedures to Riverside. This means that soon you will be able to get advanced treatment close to home, where your support system is.

To learn about the cardiology, interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, and cardiac surgery services and treatments available at Riverside Healthcare, please visit the Riverside Heart and Vascular Institute.