A very typical issue with the valves that keep your blood flowing through your heart in one direction is heart valve disease. When a heart valve is not functioning properly, medications can assist with the blood flow issues, but sometimes that’s not enough. If your valve has to be fixed or replaced, your doctor can let you know.
Heart Valve Disease
Any disorders that impair the proper function of one or more of your heart’s valves are referred to as heart valve disease. Heart valve problems can make your heart work harder if not addressed. Your quality of life may suffer as a result, and it may even risk your life. Your healthcare practitioner may be able to replace or repair your heart valves by surgery or less invasive treatment in many circumstances, Also, he restores normal function and enables you to resume your usual activities. Four valves in your heart guarantee that blood passes through it only in one way. The valves in your heart are:
- Mitral: Located between your left atrium and left ventricle.
- Tricuspid: Located between your right atrium and right ventricle.
- Aortic: Located between your left ventricle and aorta.
- Pulmonary: Located between your right ventricle and pulmonary artery.
People with heart valve disease frequently have no symptoms at all. To make up for the lack of blood flow, your heart must pump faster as the heart valve issue develops. These symptoms might start to appear when heart valve disease becomes worse:
- Shortness of breath getting worse, especially after exercise or after resting down.
- Palpitations (a sense of a flip-flop in the chest or a lack of beats).
- Edema (ankle, foot, or abdominal swelling).
- Dizziness or weakness.
- Gaining weight quickly.
- Soreness in the chest, especially after exertion.
- Also, you can have fevers, chills, or body pains if an infection is the root cause of the valve illness.
Causes Of Heart Valve Disease
- Untreated strep throat caused rheumatic fever.
- Heart attack that harms your heart.
- Advanced high blood pressure.
- A malformed pulmonary or aortic valve, for example, is an example of a congenital issue that has existed since birth.
- Valve tissue calcification or degeneration with progressive function loss.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysm (aortic dilatations that strain the aortic valve leaflets and may result in leakage).
- Heart attack.
- Infectious endocarditis is an infection of the heart.
The course of treatment for heart valve disease depends on the severity of the ailment, how severe the symptoms are, and if they are becoming worse. Your treatment will be given by a physician (cardiologist) with specialized training in heart disease. Moreover, it may be necessary to keep track of your condition through several follow-up appointments as part of the treatment. Possible recommendations include:
- Make wholesome lifestyle adjustments.
- Also, to alleviate discomfort, use medicine.
- If you have atrial fibrillation, a specific type of abnormal heart rhythm, take blood thinners to lower your risk of blood clots.
Surgery or Other Treatments
Even if you do not have any symptoms, you may ultimately require heart valve surgery to replace or repair the damaged heart valve. Your doctor may decide to replace or repair the damaged valve at the same time as any surgery needed to treat another heart ailment.
The typical method of doing heart valve surgery is through a cut (incision) in the chest. Sometimes physicians will conduct less-invasive heart surgery, which has fewer cuts than open heart surgery. There are surgical alternatives for replacing or repairing valves.
Heart valve repair
To keep your heart valve healthy, your doctor could advise heart valve repair. During a heart valve repair, doctors may:
- Patch up a valve’s holes.
- Reconstruct fused valve leaflets.
- There is a necessity to replace the valve support wires.
- To enable the valve to seal securely, remove any extra tissue.
The ring surrounding a valve (annulus) is frequently tightened or strengthened by surgery by implanting an artificial ring. In certain instances, medical professionals employ long, thin tubes (catheters) to do less intrusive treatments to repair specific valves. The use of clips, plugs, or other instruments may be necessary during these operations.
Heart Valve Replacement
If the damaged valve cannot be fixed, surgeons may remove it and replace it with a mechanical valve or a biological or tissue valve manufactured from cow, pig, or human heart tissue. You are constantly required to take blood thinners if a mechanical valve was utilized to replace your natural valve in order to prevent blood clots. Furthermore, biological tissue valves degrade over time and often require replacement.
The Bottom Line
Despite being a lifelong ailment, heart valve disease is manageable with medicine and/or surgery. Also, it is necessary to discuss the appropriate course of action for your circumstance with you and your healthcare professional. You may still make a contribution regardless of what your provider recommends. You may increase your physical activity, consume heart-healthy foods, and refrain from cigarette use. As well as continuing to take any recommended medications, make sure you attend all of your follow-up consultations.