Heart Valve Disease
Your heart has several valves that keep blood pumping in the right direction. Over time, your valves may become damaged, aged, or stiffened, causing them to work less effectively. Heart valve disease describes any ailment of the heart valves. These ailments include stenosis, which occurs when the valves have a narrowed opening due to thickened or fused valves, and regurgitation, which occurs when the valves do not close properly and blood flows backwards. Symptoms of heart valve disease include:
- Chest pain
- Swelling in your abdomen, legs, or feet
- Irregular heartbeat or abnormal heart sound (murmur)
- Dizziness or fainting
There are several treatment options for valve diseases. Your doctor may prescribe medications that help fix the structure of the valve. Your doctor may also perform a balloon valvuloplasty, where he will insert a balloon into the valve and inflate the balloon to open the valve, allowing more effective blood flow.