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Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center opens specialty heart centers

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Centers focus on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,
adult congenital heart disease, Marfan syndrome and valvular heart disease

Milwaukee - Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center announces the opening of specialty heart centers dedicated to patients with complex heart conditions. The centers will serve those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, adult congenital heart disease, Marfan syndrome and valvular heart disease.

Jamil Tajik, MD, an internationally recognized expert, heads the centers and leads a multidisciplinary team of specialists who coordinate each patient’s care.

“These are complex conditions and can be fatal if undiagnosed,” says Dr. Tajik. “Our goal is to improve the patient’s quality of life through medical management or catheter based intervention or surgical options.”

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a genetic condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. The thickening interferes with the heart chambers, reducing the amount of bloodflow in and out. This may cause fainting, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations or heart failure. It can affect people of all ages, but the young and athletic individuals often are diagnosed with more severe forms. It affects one or two people in every 1,000.

Adult congenital heart disease is a type of defect in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occur before birth. More effective treatments mean there are now adults with this condition needing care. However, most specialists are based at pediatric institutions. The Aurora center provides expert care for adults with these conditions.

Marfan syndrome is an inherited connective tissue disorder. In the heart, this may lead to leaky heart valves or dilatation or enlargement of aorta in major arteries. People with the Marfan syndrome are often tall and thin.

Valvular heart disease occurs when the heart valves no longer work properly and allow blood to flow backwards or prevent blood from flowing forward. Valve disease impacts a large number of people with increased prevalence with advancing age.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

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Contact: Myrle Croasdale
(414) 299-1691

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