Heart Center, featuring the Luce Heart Institute

Luce Structural Heart and Valve Care

Structural Heart and Valve Care:

Navicent health is dedicated to providing excellent patient care. When it comes to cardiac and structural heart care, the Luce Heart Institute is a provider of advanced therapy. Our multidisciplinary team comprised of healthcare providers from a variety of specialties, including interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and cardiac imaging are there to provide compassionate care to you or a loved one have a condition of the heart or heart valves that control the flow of blood to and from the heart. We deliver care through the healthcare continuum from diagnosis to treatment. With dedication to providing emerging technology, it's expert care close to home.

Structural heart and Valve Clinic:

Each patient is unique and requires individual care. The structural clinic is meant to provide specialty care to those patients with conditions that affect the flow of blood in the heart. We treat patients with diseases of the heart valves, atrial septal defects, as well as left atrial appendage closures to reduce stroke risk.

For more information about the structural and valve clinic please contact:

Navicent Health Structural Heart Program
777 Hemlock St.
Macon GA 31201
(478) 633-1253


What do heart valves do?

Heart valves open when the heart pumps to allow blood to flow. They close quickly between heartbeats to ensure blood does not flow backward. Any trouble in this normal flow will make it hard for the heart to pump the blood where it needs to go. Without this blood, the body is unable to receive the oxygen it needs to function.

HeartValve Diagram

Valvular Stenosis - Stenosis of a valve causes the leaflets to become hardened. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the valve. Some causes of valvular stenosis are age (calcification build-up), congenital conditions (two leaflets instead of three), or infections (rheumatic fever or staphylococcus).

Heart Stenosis Diagram

Valvular Regurgitation - Occurs when the valve becomes insufficient or leaky. This causes the blood to flow in the reverse direction.

Atrial Septal Defect (Patent Foraman Ovole) - A birth defect that causes a hole in the wall between the heart's upper chambers (atria).


Aortic Valve Treatment

  • Balloon Valvoplasty - The use of a balloon to help open a stenotic valve and alleviate symptoms associated with aortic stenosis. This is often not a long-term solution, and is used as a bridge therapy to valve replacement or as a palliative care option.
  • Valve Replacement - Aortic valve replacement is performed by replacing the diseased valve with a new bioprosthetic valve (human or animal), or an artificial mechanical valve.
  • TAVR (Transcather Aortic Valve Replacement) - an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement, TAVR is aortic valve replacement through use of a catheter, and is minimally invasive.

Atrial Septal Defect Treatment

  • Patent Foramen Ovole Closure - Although it does not always require treatment, a patent foramen avole can have the potential to cause a stroke in some patients. Closure via a percutaneous approach is an option if deemed appropriate by a physician.

Left Atrial Appendage Closure (Watchman)

  • The Left atrial appendage is a structure originating from the left atrium (top left chamber) of the heart. Patient's with atrial fibrillation are at risk for developing blood clots in this structure if not treated with anticoagulants. At times, patients are unable to participate in anticoagulation therapy due to occupation hazards, bleeding, or are at high risk of bleeding due to falls. WATCHMAN is a device used to close or occlude the left atrial appendage if deemed appropriate by a physician.

Patient Resources:

TAVR patient Guide

  • Testimonials - TAVR patient videos
  • TAVR FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) PDF attachment
  • Videos &PP

Preparing for your Clinic visit

  • PDF

Watchman patient guide

  • Videos

Contact Us:

Program Coordinator
(478) 633-1253