Heart Valve Disease

Heart valves work in conjunction with the four chambers of your heart to keep oxygen-rich blood flowing into your heart, lungs and other areas of the body. The term “heart valve disease” describes two common conditions:

  • Stenosis, in which the heart valve doesn’t fully open because of build-up of cholesterol or calcium on the leaflets of the aortic valve
  • Regurgitation, in which the valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood to leak backward across the valve

Your heart is working harder than it should if you have either type of valve disease. Heart valve disease can develop before birth or at any age because of infection or exposure to other diseases.

Among the heart's four valves, the aortic valve is more likely to develop stenosis. The physicians and staff at the Valve Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute work with your primary care physician to determine the seriousness of your valve disease and recommend treatment for you.

Symptoms of moderate to serious stenosis include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or fainting

If you have mild stenosis of the aortic valve, you may not have any symptoms. Left untreated, though, the condition can continue to worsen and, eventually, symptoms will appear.


As a patient of the Valve Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute, you will meet with a cardiologist and a cardiovascular surgeon in one convenient visit. The care team will discuss your symptoms, medical history and risk factors and perform a physical exam.

Diagnostic tests may also be ordered to help identify appropriate treatment, including an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) or cardiac catheterization.


The best type of treatment for you depends on the type and severity of your heart valve disease. Typically, though, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and repairing or replacing the ineffective value during surgery.

If you have a mild case of stenosis, medication may be effective in treating any symptoms that occur. The only effective treatment for moderate to serious stenosis is replacement of the aortic valve. Valve replacement can be done at the Valve Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute using several techniques:

  • Open-heart surgery is the most common surgical approach. A cardiovascular surgeon removes the diseased valve and replaces it with an artificial one. Such valves come in various sizes to fit your anatomy, and are made from a variety of materials.
  • Minimally invasive surgery is a procedure that can be done with a smaller incision, which leaves less scarring.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive procedure especially suited for individuals who are considered to be at high risk for other treatments.

At the Valve Clinic, you will experience:

  • Personalized patient care by the Valve Clinic team
  • A comprehensive approach that allows you to meet with a cardiologist and a cardiovascular surgeon in one visit
  • Easy access to all treatment options currently available for heart valve disease
  • Advanced diagnostic capability, treatment and recovery in one convenient location

The Valve Clinic at Parkview Heart Institute is located within the Parkview Physicians Group – Cardiology office on the first floor of the Parkview Heart Institute. For your convenience, valet parking is provided at entrance 10.

Parkview Heart Institute
Parkview Regional Medical Center campus
Entrance 10
11108 Parkview Circle Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
(260) 266-2267


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