The valves of your heart enable blood to empty from the chambers and prevent blood from flowing backward. However, sometimes the valves don’t work the way they should. They may leak or they may become too tight, preventing sufficient blood to flow through. If your heart doctor diagnoses you with valve disease, learn more about your condition and explore your treatment options. Your cardiologist may recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery to repair or replace the valve.
Medications cannot repair your valve. However, they may help relieve your symptoms and prevent further damage from occurring. Your cardiologist may recommend medications if surgical treatment is not appropriate for you or if your condition is mild.
If you are a good candidate for surgery, your cardiologist might recommend a valve repair procedure. Surgical repair, rather than replacement, is ideal for those whose tissue is not severely damaged. For example, if your valve is too tight, you might undergo a balloon valvuloplasty. During this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the heart. It contains a special balloon. The balloon is then expanded to separate the leaflets of the valve and open it, allowing blood to flow through.
If your cardiologist determines that you are not a good candidate for a valve repair surgery, you might undergo valve replacement instead. During this procedure, your natural valve is replaced with an artificial one. The artificial valve may be mechanical and made of durable materials, or it may be made from donor tissue. A more recent approach for valve replacement is called the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). It involves inserting a catheter to the valve site to deliver a collapsible replacement valve. Once the new valve is expanded, the old valve leaflets are moved aside and the replacement tissue regulates the blood flow.
Cardiac Solutions offers five convenient locations in the West Valley for cardiac patients. Schedule an appointment at our cardiology clinics in Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, or Sun City West to explore your treatment options for valve disease and other heart conditions. You can connect with a cardiologist by calling (623) 208-5305.