Heart Valve Disease
Heart valves work in conjunction with the four chambers of your heart to keep blood flowing into your heart, lungs and other areas of the body. Heart valve disease describes conditions in which a heart valve doesn’t fully open or doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood to leak backwards across the valve. Heart valve disease can develop before birth or later in life because of infection or exposure to other diseases.
Your physician will discuss your symptoms, medical history and risk factors and will perform a physical exam.
Diagnostic tests may also be ordered to help identify the best type of treatment for you. Specific tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) or cardiac catheterization.
The best type of treatment depends on the type and severity of the heart valve disease. Typically, though, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and repairing or replacing the ineffective value through surgery.