Tuesday, July 25, 2023

When is heart valve replacement considered?

 A heart valve defect is a condition that affects one or more of the four valves of the heart, which keep blood flowing in the right direction through the heart by opening and closing at the right time. There are three types of heart valve diseases: regurgitation, stenosis, and atresia. Regurgitation happens when the valve flaps don't close properly, causing blood to leak. Stenosis happens when the flaps of a valve become thick, stiff, or stuck together, preventing the valve from opening all the way. Atresia happens when a heart valve did not form properly and does not have an opening for blood to pass through



Some people have no symptoms, yet they can still have a valve problem that needs treatment. Some people suddenly experience very noticeable symptoms. Valve disease symptoms can also develop very quickly if the condition is severe. Symptoms of heart valve disease include:
  • Chest pain or palpitations (rapid rhythms or skips)
  • Shortness of breath, particularly when active or lying down
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat


Heart valve defects can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Age-related wear and tear
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Connective tissue disorders


To diagnose a heart valve defect, a doctor will conduct a physical examination and listen for a heart murmur, a possible sign of a heart valve condition. Several tests may be done to diagnose a heart valve defect, including:
  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Cardiac catheterization


Heart valve disease treatment depends on your symptoms, the severity of the condition, and whether your condition is worsening. Mild valve problems may produce few, if any, noticeable symptoms. More serious valve disorders generally produce more pronounced symptoms. Treatment for valve disease will include a plan to protect your heart from further damage, assess your need for medication to help manage symptoms, and repair the valve problem if needed. Valve repair preserves the patient's valve and leaflets, while valve replacement may include open-heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure using a catheter
 Heart valve surgery is usually performed through a cut (incision) in the chest. Doctors sometimes do minimally invasive heart surgery, which involves smaller incisions than those made for open-heart surgery. In some medical centers, doctors perform robot-assisted heart surgery, a type of minimally invasive heart surgery in which surgeons use

When is heart valve replacement considered?

Heart valve replacement is considered when the heart valve is severely damaged and cannot be repaired. The decision to replace the valve depends on the severity of the valve disease, the patient's age and overall health, and the presence of symptoms. If the valve disease is severe and causing symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or fainting, valve replacement may be necessary. Valve replacement is also recommended for patients with severe valve disease who are undergoing other heart surgeries, such as coronary artery bypass grafting
If you are experiencing any symptoms of heart valve disease, it is important to see your doctor for evaluation. The sooner valve disease is identified and treated, the better your outcome will be.

[1] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-valve-diseases/types
[2] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-valve-diseases/causes
[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-valve-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353732
[4] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-valve-problems-and-disease/heart-valve-disease-risks-signs-and-symptoms/symptoms-of-heart-valve-problems
[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-valve-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353727
[6] https://utswmed.org/conditions-treatments/heart-valve-disorders/
[7] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-valve-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355122
[8] https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/h/heart-valve-diseases.html
[9] https://medlineplus.gov/heartvalvediseases.html
[10] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-valve-diseases/treatment
[11] https://www.adventistheart.org/valve-disease/symptoms-of-valve-disease/
[12] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/heart-valve-diseases
[13] https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/treatment-options-heart-valve-disease.html
[14] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/heart-valve-diseases
[15] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-valve-problems-and-disease/understanding-your-heart-valve-treatment-options
[16] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17639-what-you-need-to-know-heart-valve-disease
[17] https://www.upmc.com/services/south-central-pa/heart-vascular/heart/structural-heart-program/diagnosis/meaning
[18] https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/valvular_disease.htm
[19] https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-valve-problems-and-disease/heart-valve-problems-and-causes
[20] https://www.heartandstroke.ca/heart-disease/conditions/valvular-heart-disease

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