Your heart is a muscular pump that has four chambers and four valves. The four valves are the mitral, aortic, tricuspid, and pulmonary valves. The valves open and close to keep blood flowing in the proper direction through your heart. When something is wrong with one of the valves, the blood cannot flow in and out of the heart properly. Problems with the heart valves can cause leaks (valve regurgitation) and blockages (valve stenosis). You can be born with heart valve disease, or it can develop over a number of years.
Mild cases of heart valve disease may not cause problems, but more serious cases will weaken the heart and can lead to heart failure. Treatment with medicine can help relieve symptoms, but it will not fix the valve. You may need to have surgery to replace or repair the valve.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: September 21, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine
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