Structural Heart Disease Program at Adventist Health White Memorial

When most people think about heart problems, the first thing that usually comes to mind is heart attack. That has to do with blood vessels on the outside of the heart. But serious problems can also happen other places in the heart, such as:

  • The heart muscle itself.
  • The layer of tissue that covers the heart.
  • The walls inside the heart, which separate the heart’s four chambers.
  • The four valves inside the heart that help blood move from one part of the heart to the other.
  • Other parts inside the heart.
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How is structural heart disease treated?

In the past, structural heart disease was usually treated with open-heart surgery. But the Structural Heart Disease Program at Adventist Health White Memorial uses a newer, more advanced way called catheter-based procedures. Not every patient can be treated in this way, but most can.

What is special about catheter-based procedures is that the patient doesn’t need to have a big incision. Instead, the surgeon can work through a small puncture in the groin (in the private area of the body) or the wrist. An example of a catheter-based procedure is the balloon procedure used to open a blocked artery in the heart.

For patients, catheter-based procedures have a lot of advantages over regular surgery. They usually are shorter and less painful. Also, the patient usually gets out of the hospital quicker, and they get well sooner and with fewer problems after surgery.

If you would like to speak with a general cardiologist, please call (323) 265-5050.

What types of heart disease can be treated with catheter-based procedures?

Here’s a tip: Ask your doctor to write down the name of your heart problem, or show this page to your doctor on your phone and ask him or her to point out your problem.

We do about 18 different procedures. Some of the most common problems we treat are:

Aortic valve stenosis—People with this condition may have trouble breathing, feel dizzy, faint, feel really tired or weak, have chest pain or have heart failure. A surgeon can replace the valve, which usually helps the person live a better and longer life.

Mitral valve disease—There are two main types of this disease. In one type, the heart valve becomes clogged. In the other type, the valve leaks. Our surgeons can fix both types.

Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy—In this disease, the heart muscle becomes too thick. That makes it hard for the heart to pump blood to the body. If medicine doesn’t help, our surgeons may be able to help.

Patent foramen ovale (PFO) and atrial septal defect (ASD)—In both of these problems, the person is born with a hole in their heart. That keeps blood inside the heart from flowing like it should, and the person may have a stroke or heart failure. Our surgeons can close the hole in the heart.

Left atrial appendage—This heart problem can create a dangerous blood clot. If it is not treated, it could cause a stroke. Often, medicine can help. If not, our surgeons can perform surgery to help keep clots from forming.

Structural Heart Disease Program procedures at Adventist Health White Memorial

  • TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement)
  • Balloon valvuloplasty (aortic, mitral and pulmonic valves)
  • TMVR (transcatheter mitral valve repair)—e.g. MitraClip procedure
  • Left atrial appendage occlusion procedure—e.g.WATCHMAN procedure
  • Paravalvular leak repair and closure
  • TPVR (transcatheter pulmonic valve replacement)
  • ASD/PFO closure (atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale)
  • VSD closure (ventricular septal defect)
  • PDA closure (patent ductus arteriosus)
  • Adult transcatheter repair of the coarctation of the aorta
  • Coronary fistula repair
  • Pulmonary arterial and venous interventions
  • Alcohol septal ablation
  • Endomyocardial biopsy
  • Trans-septal puncture
  • Balloon pericardiotomy
  • Intra-cardiac echocardiography

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with structural heart disease? Ask your doctor for a referral to Structural Heart Disease Program at Adventist Health White Memorial.

Dr. Sarkis Kiramijyan

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Kiramijyan spent nine years training in cardiovascular medicine and interventional, peripheral and structural cardiology. He is one of only a few doctors in Los Angeles County with this much expertise in structural heart disease. Dr. Kiramijyan knows that each patient is unique, so he works to honor their own goals and wishes. He is known for his compassion, respect, integrity and quality. One thing he emphasizes with every patient is education. “I firmly believe patients must be well educated about their disease in order to make informed decisions regarding their treatment plan,” Dr. Kiramijyan says.

Dr. Eric Bansal

Dr. Bansal is one of just a few doctors in Los Angeles with special training in structural heart disease. After medical school, he earned three advanced degrees from two of the top heart hospitals in the United States. Adventist Health White Memorial feels like home to Dr. Bansal. His father has been a physician for 25 years, and Dr. Bansal remembers coming with him to White Memorial when he was a child. Dr. Bansal says patients with structural heart disease should never think that their problem is beyond help. “We are able to give advanced heart care even to patients who think they are too old or too sick for surgery,” he says.

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