Heart Center

Heart Murmur Clinic

The Grand Strand Medical Center Heart Murmur Clinic is focused on the evaluation and treatment of valvular heart disease. A multidisciplinary team of primary care physicians, cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses and support staff collaborate to offer expertise and treatment options for valve disease.

Read more about the Heart Murmur Program » (PDF - 716 KB)

Services Offered

Cardiac Imaging

  • 2D Echo
  • 2D/3D Transesophageal echo
  • Stress echo
  • Cardiac CT
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Nuclear Imaging
  • Carotid Imaging

Cardiac Surgery

  • Valve Repair
  • Valve Replacement
  • Minimally Invasive valve surgery

Symptoms

Oftentimes, valve disease causes few to no symptoms making it harder to recognize. As the disease worsens, patients can experience a variety of symptoms including:

  • Chest pains
  • Palpitations caused by irregular heartbeats or racing heartbeats
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath, especially with activity
  • Fainting spells

Always consult your physician for a diagnosis. If symptoms are severe, call 911 immediately.

Know Your Heart Health

Heart valve disease is non-discriminatory and can affect our community at any age. If left undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to heart failure or worse.

The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) is a 12-item questionnaire that uses self-reported physical work capacity to estimate peak metabolic equivalents (METs) and has been shown to be a valid measurement of functional capacity.

Knowing your risk factors and valve score are the first steps to taking control of your heart health. The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) is a 12-item questionnaire that utilizes self-reported physical work capacity to estimate a patient’s at-risk assessment for valve disease and other heart-related issues.

To know your score, please take our DASI test.

Appointments at the Grand Strand Heart Murmur Clinic are available by physician referral or self-referral. If you find you are in need of further testing, please call (843) 692-1512 to schedule an appointment for your assessment. Our coordinator will help make all necessary arrangements for your evaluation.

You will then be evaluated by the team of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiac interventionists to discuss potential options. To arrive at the right diagnosis, the assessment may include diagnostic studies and a discussion about the evaluation of your valve disease.

Conditions Affecting Your Valve and Treatments

What is Aortic Valve Stenosis?

Aortic valve stenosis, also known as aortic stenosis, occurs when the aortic valve narrows and constricts blood flow from the heart to your body. When your aortic valve is not functioning properly, the heart needs to work harder to provide oxygenated blood to your body and, eventually, the heart becomes overworked and weakened.

Symptoms of a weakened heart due to aortic valve disease include fatigue, dizziness and trouble breathing. Many patients report no symptoms until the disease is advanced beyond repair. Severe aortic valve stenosis leads to serious heart problems and a rapid decline in quality of life.

What is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapsed (MVP) is a common, usually benign heart disorder. The mitral valve controls blood flow between the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) chambers on the left side of the heart. Normally, blood should only flow in one direction, from the upper chamber into the lower chamber. In MVP, the valve flaps don’t work properly; part of the valve balloons into the atrium, which may be associated with blood flowing in the wrong direction or leaking back into the atrium.

What is Mitral Valve Regurgitation?

Mitral regurgitation is the leaking of blood from the left ventricle across the mitral valve, and into the left atrium. The flow of blood pumped by the heart is controlled by one-way valves. These valves assure that blood moves in only one direction. When the mitral valve leaks, some of the blood that should be pumped into the body instead goes backward into the left atrium. If the amount of blood that leaks is severe, mitral regurgitation can be a serious condition that requires care from your doctor. The sooner it is treated, the more favorable the outcome. Your cardiologist can help you determine the optimal time and method for your treatment.

Repair vs. Replacement

There are several treatment options available for a leaky valve including mechanical replacement, bio-prosthetic replacement, and repair. Emerging research indicates there are significant advantages to saving the natural valve with a repair procedure whenever possible.

Our patients have access to an experienced team of physicians, nurses, clinicians and rehabilitation specialists at Grand Strand Medical Center.

Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery

Minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement is available at Grand Strand Medical Center.

Benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:

  • Less pain
  • Less blood loss during surgery
  • Fewer complications
  • Quicker recovery to normal activities
  • Smaller scar

Read more about heart murmur

To learn more about the Heart Center at Grand Strand Medical Center, please call:

1-843-692-4444

Grand Strand Medical Center encourages you to be a partner in health prevention and safety by taking advantage of free or low cost screening and safety information.

Know Your Numbers

Cholesterol Screening Information

Related Physicians

Learn more about the excellent cardiac physicians that practice at Grand Strand Heart Center.