Structural Heart Disorders

A structural heart condition refers to a problem within the heart’s valves and chambers. Structural heart conditions can be the result of a birth defect or they can develop from rheumatic fever, illness, pregnancy, or lifestyle wear and tear.

When the heart has a structural defect, blood is not pumped through the chambers correctly. As a result, it does not reach the rest of the body.

This can lead to:

  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular blood pressure

Surgical Treatment

Our structural heart disease program offers several surgical options. Your cardiologist and surgeon will help you choose the procedure that is best for you.

  • Open-heart surgery involves opening the chest and breastbone to access the heart. This is the traditional procedure for structural heart repair.
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery may be used for a leaking valve, mitral regurgitation, or stenosis. During minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon accesses the heart through several small incisions. The chest is not opened, which results in less risk, less pain, and a faster healing time. Most structural heart procedures require a weeklong hospital stay, including several days in one of our specialized care units.


When you leave the hospital, you will attend cardiac rehabilitation to help you regain your strength and independence.

Non-Surgical Treatment

People who are not candidates for heart surgery may benefit from a non-surgical structural repair. Cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons at Memorial Health University Medical Center work together to offer these procedures.

  • MitraClip valve repair involves threading a catheter to a leaking valve and using a small clip to close the leak. Memorial Health University Medical Center is the only facility in the region offering the MitraClip procedure.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) involves threading a catheter to a damaged valve and inserting a hollow sheath into it to open the valve and restore blood flow.

Structural Heart Program Medical Director

Dale P. Daly, MD

Dale P. Daly, MD

Cardiovascular Disease, Interventional Cardiology