What is Structural Heart & Valve Disease?

The Structural Heart and Valve Center at Princeton Baptist delivers a highly-personalized, innovative approach to treating heart valve disease and structural heart conditions.

The Valves of the Heart – The heart has four valves that make blood flow in a set direction. With every heartbeat, the valves open and close once. If the valves don’t open and close correctly, it can disrupt blood flow to your heart. Conditions where valves don’t open correctly are called stenosis. Conditions where valves don’t close correctly are called regurgitation – valves that don’t close properly can leak. The four valves in the heart are: Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Pulmonary Valve, and the Tricuspid Valve.

The Structure of the Heart – ‘Structural heart disease’ covers a large variety of heart conditions that aren’t generally related to coronary disease and refers to both valvular heart disease and any defect within the heart. Many defects can be repaired percutaneously via catheter, instead of through open-heart surgery.

Structural heart and valve disease can be scary. But cutting-edge treatment options at Princeton Baptist mean a healthier heart is within reach. From a better quality of life and reduced symptoms, to a potentially longer life, and less work for your heart muscle – you have everything to gain.




An Alternative to Open Heart Surgery

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A video discussing an alternative to open heart surgery



Your Team

Structural heart and valve decision-making is often highly complex requiring close collaboration between our imaging specialists, structural interventionalists and cardiac surgeons – also known as a ‘heart team’ approach.

Team members meet with patients during clinic visits to develop a patient-centered, comprehensive plan, including the latest treatment approaches. In addition to the heart team, patients receive ongoing education and access to a nurse before, during and after procedures.

A highly trained, team of specialists from multiple heart and vascular specialties at Princeton, Cardiovascular Associates of the Southeast (CVA) and Cardiology P.C. include cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and specialists in cardiac imaging. The clinic’s multidisciplinary treatment team includes:

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mustafa ahmed MD
Tom Cawthon MD
clifton lewis MD
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stephen bakir MD
luiz pinheiro MD



  • Procedures

  • Technology & Innovation

  • Minimally Invasive

  • Additional Resources




Patient Stories

KATHLEEN GLOVER, MitraClip patient, December 2015
Everything was wonderful, including all the doctors, nurses and the structural heart and valve team. If you had seen me before surgery, and then after, you would not have known me. I feel so much better, and the experience was wonderful.

JOHN NORRIS, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) patient, October 2015
I have done better after this surgery than any other surgery. If you have to have it done, this is the way to go. My wife says I look younger, everybody does, I look like I used to... it’s amazing.

DOROTHY PURVIS, MitraClip patient, November 2015
It was a good experience–the hospital gave me lots of attention, and I felt at home there. Princeton was great!

BILLY PEARSON, TAVR patient, Tuscaloosa, AL

When open heart surgery wasn't an option, Billy found a solution at Princeton's Structural Heart & Valve Center.
Billy Pearson's Story; an image of his hands