• Valvular Heart Disease

    Valvular Heart Disease

    If the valves in your heart don't open and close properly, it can interfere with the heart's ability to pump blood. People are either born with valvular heart disease, or it can be caused later in life by infections, heart disease, and heart attack. Depending on the severity, your doctor may recommend medicines, a minimally invasive procedure, or surgery to repair or replace the valve.

  • Heart and Vascular Disease

    Aortic Stenosis – Adult Congenital Heart Disease

    Aortic stenosis is a form of congenital heart disease in which the valve in the heart that allows blood to flow to the body is narrowed. Read on for information about the characteristics of the defect at birth and the treatment and follow-up care that is necessary into adulthood.

    Endocarditis

    Endocarditis, or infective endocarditis, occurs when the inner lining of the heart (the endocardium) or the heart’s valves become infected by bacteria or other germs. The bacteria that cause endocarditis typically spread through the bloodstream from the mouth, from infected foreign bodies such as needles, or from another part of the body to the heart.

    What is Cardiovascular Disease?

    Cardiovascular disease refers to a broad range of diseases that cause narrowing of the blood vessels or weaken the artery walls, resulting in disruptions in efficient blood flow. Included under the broad umbrella of cardiovascular disease are coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD), renal (kidney) artery disease, heart failure and high blood pressure. While these conditions may affect different parts of the body, they often share the same underlying cause: atherosclerosis (pronounced ath-row-sklee-rosis), or “hardening” of the arteries.

    Types and Causes of Heart Valve Problems

    Your heart’s valves are an essential feature of its structure because they regulate the direction and flow of the blood that replenishes the oxygen supply throughout your body.

    Heart Valve Treatments

    New treatments for heart valve problems are always being developed. Several promising treatments are currently in the investigational stage but have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Diagnosing Heart Valve Problems

    If your doctor suspects that you have a heart valve problem, he or she will want to examine you further and possibly refer you to a cardiologist. To make the diagnosis, your doctor will do the following...

    Medications and Lifestyle Changes for Heart Valve Problems

    If you have a heart valve problem you can take steps in your daily life to minimize more problems in the future. Talk with your doctor to develop a plan for staying well that is tailored to your condition.

    Symptoms of Heart Valve Problems

    If you have heart valve disease, you may have no warning signs. Additionally, heart valve symptoms are not a reliable indicator of how serious your condition may be. You may have no symptoms but need prompt treatment. Or you may have severe symptoms, but your valve problem may be minor.

    Aortic Stenosis – Adult Congenital Heart Disease

    Aortic stenosis is a form of congenital heart disease in which the valve in the heart that allows blood to flow to the body is narrowed. Read on for information about the characteristics of the defect at birth and the treatment and follow-up care that is necessary into adulthood.

    Mitral Valve Regurgitation: Treating a Leaky Valve

    We all know that having a heart is critical to our survival, but have you ever stopped to think why? It’s because the heart pumps blood throughout the body—blood rich with the oxygen and nutrients that our bodies need to function. The heart has four valves that keep the blood flowing on a one-way path to where it needs to go. If a valve doesn’t close properly, blood can leak back into the heart, which is called regurgitation. The mitral valve is especially susceptible to this problem. If the leak is minor, you might never know it because the valve can still accomplish its job. But if the leaking becomes severe, the heart muscle has to work much harder to pump more blood, putting your heart and you at great risk.
  • Treatment and Prevention

    Heart Valve Repair via Catheter and With Less Invasive Surgical Techniques

    Most heart valve problems involve either the aortic valve or mitral valve. Most often, diseased valves either allow blood to leak backwards into a heart chamber or a blood vessel, or they become narrow and restrict blood flow. In some cases, valves can be repaired; in other cases, they need to be replaced. Traditionally, if the patient is healthy enough, a diseased heart valve has been repaired or replaced using open-heart surgery.

    Treatments for Coronary Artery Disease

    The first step in the process of diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease is a visit with your doctor to describe and discuss your symptoms, including their impact on your daily activities, how long you have noticed them and how often they occur and under what conditions.