Abnormal blood flow within the heart.
Heart valve disease may cause a murmur or may go undetected for years, and occurs when your heart does not pump blood in the correct direction or blood flow is reduced or blocked because of dysfunction of one or more valves.
Early symptoms of valve disease may be an irregular heartbeat, dizziness, or fainting as well as fatigue or shortness of breath. Your doctor may notice that you have a heart murmur when listening through a stethoscope and in some instances, the swelling of your feet and ankles may also indicate a problem.
Despite the sometimes-slow onset of symptoms, heart valve disease can be life-threatening and can lead to heart failure, stroke, or other medical emergencies. If you suspect you have valve issues and are experiencing associated symptoms, seek medical care immediately.
Some individuals are born with congenital valve defects while others develop heart valve disease due to other medical issues. An infection can cause the condition and those with other cardiovascular concerns like hypertension or high cholesterol could also develop a problem. Diabetes can also play a role, as well as your age and any history of heart attack or infections.
Just like any other heart condition, heart valve disease is associated with certain risk factors that include family history and lifestyle choices.
A heart murmur is often the first sign of heart valve disease and at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates we will complete a thorough diagnosis before developing a treatment plan. This may include performing an echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, and stress test. It’s important that we first understand your condition in order to determine the best treatment options available.
Sometimes medication alone can help to minimize the symptoms of heart valve disease and keep the condition from progressing, while other patients are able to make lifestyle changes and monitor their condition through regular appointments.
Individuals who have more advanced valve problems may have to undergo minimally invasive procedures or surgery to repair or replace the valve. Our team turns to surgical procedures only after exercising all other treatment options first.