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Your heart is a pump that keeps blood flowing throughout your body day in and day out. It pumps or beats about 100,000 times each day. With every beat, the heart draws blood into four different chambers and then contracts to force it out to the lungs or the rest of the body.
Blood flows through valves that open with each beat and then shut tightly to ensure blood does not flow or leak backward. However, like any plumbing system, parts can wear out or leak. Heart valves can develop three basic problems:
Symptoms of heart valve disease can include:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should talk to your Mercy primary care doctor or heart specialist.
With access to the very best diagnostic and treatment tools, your Mercy doctor can pinpoint the problem and offer you safe and effective ways to treat your condition.
In addition to a physical exam, your doctor might order diagnostic tests, including:
An electrocardiogram measures the electrical activity of your heart
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart
Cardiac catheterization consists of a flexible tube that is threaded through a blood vessel to your heart. This allows your doctor to study the inside of your arteries and use dyes to see the pumping function of your heart.
Treatment for heart valve problems depends on the type and severity of the disease, and focuses on protecting your valve from further damage, lessening symptoms and repairing or replacing valves. Treatments include:
Medications are administered to treat your symptoms and to lessen the chance of further valve damage
Balloon valvotomy is performed to widen a valve with an inflated balloon at the end of a catheter threaded to the heart
Open heart surgery is performed to repair or replace a damaged valve
Minimally invasive surgery is performed to replace or repair a damaged value using a catheter, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose conditions and injuries, including:
At Mercy, we offer compassionate care for a variety of treatment services, including: