Valvular Disease Treatment in Phoenix

What is Valvular Disease?

Valvular disease is when any valve in the heart has damage or has disease. This is a general term that is also called valvular heart disease or heart valve disease.

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How Your Heart Works

Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the right direction. If you have heart valve disease, one or more of your valves does not work properly. This may be an issue with opening, closing, the flap or other related issues. This can cause the blood flow through your heart to the rest of your body to be disrupted and cause problems.

There are many types of heart valve diseases based on the heart valve affected and the type of the damage.

Types of Heart Valve Diseases

Heart valves can have three basic kinds of problems:

  • Regurgitation or Backflow – This can happen when the flaps of your heart valve does not close tightly so blood leaks backwards.
  • Stenosis or Flap Not Opening Fully – This happens when the flaps of a valve become thick, stiff, or stuck together so not enough blood can pass through the valve.
  • Atresia – This happens when a heart valve did not form properly and does not have an opening for blood to pass through.

Symptoms of Valvular Disease

If you have issues with the valves of your heart, you may experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A whooshing sound (heart murmur) when your cardiologist is listening to the heart with a stethoscope
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat

If you have valvular disease, your heart is working harder to get enough blood to your body. This can lead to heart failure, stroke, blood clots, or other serious related conditions.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are worried about your heart and think you may have a valve disease, talk to your cardiologist. You will normally see a cardiologist, who specializes in heart disease. You will have a physical exam and review your medical history. There are several tests that can be performed to see what is going on in your heart and make an accurate diagnosis.

Depending on what is occurring your cardiologist will talk with you about a treatment plan to help with your valvular disease. You may need to take medications, make adjustments to your lifestyle, or undergo surgery to repair or replace a valve.

It is important to seek medical care if you suspect a heart problem, so you are not at risk for more serious complications.