Heart valves function as doorways to manage the blood flow between parts within the heart. Valvular Heart Disease would affect one or more heart valves that lead to to severe damage and would not be able to function well. An array of Valvular Heart Diseases includes separate valves, specific diseases can affect more than a single valve.
Valve diseases can include congenital abnormalities which are present at birth, they can appear during life's later stages resulting from infections from degeneration.
There are two major types of valvular heart disease:
- Valvular Insufficiency, which happens when the valve does not close tightly
- Valvular Stenosis, that happens when the widening of the valve is smaller than usual
There are many factors that can cause Valvular Heart Disease:
- Congenital (present at birth)
- Degeneration of valve tissues with age
- Drugs (migraine medications, diet pills) and radiation therapy (cancer treatment)
- Heart Attack, Atherosclerosis (build-up of fatty deposits in arteries), and high blood pressure
- Infections including Rheumatic Fever and Infective Endocarditis
In the beginning, you might not show any signs or symptoms if the the affected valve suffers from severe damage. Although, the symptoms can worsen to include:
- Irregular heart beats
- Shortness of breath on exertion
- Swollen ankles
Your doctor may recommend different treatment options for certain valvular heart diseases, depending on how severe your valve damage is, this includes:
Medication, although it's vital to have a regular check-up to avoid recurrence.
Balloon Valvuloplasty - for patients who have narrow valves, a tiny balloon catheter is pointed to the target valve, it is then inflated and deflated multiple times till the valve is widely opened adequately.
Surgery may be required if there are multiple valve damage. Please refer to our cardiologists or cardiac surgeons.
Valve Repairs - shows fast recovery process, higher chance for survival, life-long therapy is not needed, at the same time keeping the condition of your original valves.
Valve Replacement - usually performed when there complex cases involved, the valves are very damaged and require minimal invasiveness; new valve replacement.