Mercy Heart Valve Clinic combines the expertise of cardiac surgeons and cardiologists to provide focused assessment and treatment options for patients with complex valve disorders. This multi-disciplinary approach offers patients with heart valve disease access to several specialists in order to expedite the care and help determine the optimal treatment protocol in a setting that is convenient for the patients.
Check your heart valve symptoms:
Valvular heart disease is a condition in which the valves of the heart do not open or close properly to allow blood to flow in the correct direction within your body. Stenosis refers to the valve being stiff or calcified. Stenosis can be caused by a number of things including congenital heart defect, calcifications of the valve, or history of Rheumatic Fever. Stenosis can affect the amount of blood that is circulated to your body by not allowing the valve to fully open when the heart contracts. Regurgitation refers to the valve not closing completely and allowing a portion of the blood to flow backwards. Regurgitation can be caused by Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis (infection of the heart valve), congenital heart defect, or enlarged chambers of the heart.
Valvular heart disease can go without symptoms for a long period of time. If you have been diagnosed with valvular heart disease it is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your physician. If you are having symptoms it is important to let your doctor know immediately so you can be re-evaluated by your physician. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, heart murmur, lightheadedness, swollen ankles or feet, rapid fluttering heart rate, needing to sleep sitting up instead of laying flat, unable to complete activities you used to do, 1 or more episodes of passing out or feeling as if you may pass out.
There are different options for treatment of valvular heart disease depending on the type of disease you have, what has caused the heart valve disease, what valve is affected, and the severity of the disease. There are medical options for some types of heart valve disease, for other types of heart valve disease surgical repair or replacement may be the best option. It is important to discuss with your physician what is best for your type of heart valve disease.
For more information on how the heart works and many other heart-related topics, check out our Health Information pages.