Valvular heart disease isn’t as common as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, but it’s just as dangerous. At Heart and Vascular Care in Plano, Texas, board-certified cardiologist Bhupinder Singh, MD, works with men and women to diagnose and treat valvular heart disease. If you’re interested in learning more about your risk of valvular heart disease, schedule an appointment. Call the office or book online today.
Valvular heart disease occurs when one or more of your heart valves stops functioning properly. Your heart has four valves that are responsible for keeping your blood flowing in the right direction. If one or more of those valves doesn’t open or close properly, it can disrupt your circulation. Left untreated, valvular heart disease can lead to serious complications and death.
Valvular heart disease usually develops over a lifetime. Common features of valvular heart disease include:
Many people with valvular heart disease also experience shortness of breath, either during exercise or after lying down.
There are several types of valvular heart disease, including:
Valve stenosis is a type of valvular heart disease that causes your valve flaps to thicken and become stiff. Over time, this causes your heart valve to narrow, reducing blood flow through the valve. There are several types of stenosis, including aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, pulmonary stenosis, and tricuspid stenosis.
Valve regurgitation is a type of valvular disease that prevents your valve flaps from closing properly. This allows blood to flow backward into your heart. There are several types of regurgitation, including aortic regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, and tricuspid regurgitation.
Atresia is a type of valvular disease that occurs if one or more of your heart valves is improperly formed. A valve with atresia features a solid sheet of tissue that blocks blood flow from reaching your heart.
To diagnose valvular heart disease, Dr. Singh conducts a physical exam and reviews your medical history. Next, he asks you about your symptoms and lifestyle. Then, Dr. Singh listens to your heart with a stethoscope; a murmur can indicate a valve problem.
If these measures don’t provide enough information, Dr. Singh may recommend further testing with an electrocardiogram (ECG), an echocardiogram, or a cardiac MRI. These tests provide insights on your heart’s electrical activity and provide detailed images of your heart valves and heart chambers.
Treatment of valvular disease varies depending on the severity of the condition and your overall health. Dr. Singh usually recommends a combination of healthy lifestyle changes, prescription medication, and, when necessary, surgical intervention.
Dr. Singh offers two types of surgery to treat valvular heart disease: valve replacement surgery and heart valve surgery. Valve replacement surgery uses an artificial valve or bioprosthesis to replace a damaged or diseased heart valve. Heart valve surgery fixes problems with one or more heart valves to improve their overall function.
If you’re concerned about your risk of valvular heart disease, schedule an appointment at Heart and Vascular Care. Call the office or book online today.