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Navigating Valvular Heart Disease Treatment: Approaches and Options Navigating Valvular Heart Disease Treatment: Approaches and Options

Navigating Valvular Heart Disease Treatment: Approaches and Options

Artemis Hospital

February 28, 2024 |
Navigating Valvular Heart Disease Treatment: Approaches and Options 9 Min Read | 187

Many common heart and blood vessel conditions are included under the umbrella term Valvular heart disease (VHD). When one or more heart valves aren't functioning properly, it can lead to heart valve disease. It includes atresia (faulty valve function), stenosis (thickening of valves), and regurgitation (blood flowing back through the valves).

Improved comprehension of its natural progression, alongside significant advancements in diagnostic imaging, interventional cardiology, and surgical techniques, has led to precise diagnosis and the right treatment planning for valvular heart disease.

A comprehensive understanding of the diverse valvular disorders is essential for managing patients with VHD effectively. The evaluation of patients with VHD should involve a thorough examination of their medical history to assess causes and symptoms, a precise evaluation of valvular abnormality and severity through examination, and appropriate diagnostic testing followed by therapeutic interventions if deemed necessary.

Even though there are numerous treatment options for heart problems, they can initially seem overwhelming. Treatment for heart valve disease is based on the type and severity of the disease as well as the heart valve that is impacted. The heart valve may occasionally need to be replaced or repaired surgically. Lets know more about this disease and its treatment options in the following article

What is Valvular Heart Disease?

Any of a number of disorders that impair the proper function of one or more heart valves are collectively referred to as heart valve disease. This disease makes your heart work harder if left untreated. This may potentially endanger your life and lower your quality of life. Your heart valves can often be replaced or repaired by your doctor with minimally invasive surgery, allowing you to resume your regular activities and by restoring the heart function.

Your hearts four valves ensure that blood only flows through it in one direction. The valves in your heart are:

  • Mitral valve located between your left upper and lower chambers
  • Tricuspid valve located between your right upper and lower chambers
  • Aortic valve located between your left lower chamber aorta (largest artery)
  • Pulmonary valve located between your right lower chamber and pulmonary artery

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease?

People who have heart valve disease may have no symptoms. However, your heart beats faster to compensate for the decreased blood flow when the heart valve condition gets worse. The following symptoms may start to show up as heart valve disease worsens over time:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations (pounding heart beat)
  • Swelling due to water retention in ankles, feet, and/or abdomen
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness.
  • Weight gain
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Fevers, chills, and/or body aches

Causes of Valvular Heart Disease

Following are common causes of Heart Valve Disease:

  • Rheumatic fever from failed strep throat treatment
  • Heart attack
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Congenital heart valve defect
  • Degeneration or calcification of the valve tissue, loosing of function with time
  • Thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Heart failure
  • Infective endocarditis

Types of Valvular Heart Disease

Heart valve issues can be of three main types:

  • Regurgitation: It is valvular malfunction that results in backflow of the blood. This permits a backward leak of blood. Prolapse, a condition in which the valve flaps flop or bulge back, is a common root cause of regurgitation. Mitral valve damage is the most common result of prolapse.
  • Stenosis: This is the result of a valves flaps getting thick, stiff, or stuck together. As a result, the heart valve cannot open completely. The valve cannot let through enough blood. One common kind of stenosis is aortic valve stenosis. The valve that regulates blood flow into the main artery that transports blood from the heart to the body is impacted.
  • Atresia: This occurs when an improperly formed heart valve lacks an opening for optimum blood flow.

Treatment Approaches and Options for Valvular Heart Disease

In certain instances, your doctor might simply wish to keep a close eye on the heart valve issue for a while. Other choices, though, include taking medication or having the valve surgically repaired or replaced. Depending on the type of heart valve disease, there are various treatment options that may include:

1) Medical Approach: While there is no known cure for heart valve disease with medicines, treatment often improves symptoms. Among these medications are possibly:

  • Beta Blockers: By regulating heart rate and assisting in the prevention of irregular cardiac rhythms, beta-blockers (digoxin, and calcium channel blockers) help to lessen the symptoms of heart valve disease.
  • Anti-hypertensive drugs: These medicines such as diuretics (get rid of surplus fluid from the body by increasing urine output) or vasodilators (ease up the blood vessels, help in reducing the pressure in opposition to which the heart has to pump), thereby easing the workload of the heart.

2) Surgical Approach: To replace or repair the malfunctioning valve(s), surgery might be required. Surgical procedures could involve:

  • Heart valve repair surgery: Surgery to replace the damaged valve may be able to relieve symptoms in certain situations. Examples of heart valve repair surgery include prosthetic ring insertion to help in narrowing a dilated valve or remodeling abnormal valve tissue to restore proper function of the valve. Because a patient's own tissues are used, heart valve repair is typically preferred.
  • Heart valve replacement surgery: Heart valves may require replacement when they are seriously damaged or deformed. Replacement valves can be made of mechanical materials like plastic, metal, or another artificial substance, or tissue (biologic) valves like animal valves and donated human aortic valves. Usually, this calls for cardiac surgery. However, non-surgical methods can be used to manage certain valve diseases, such as mitral valve regurgitation or aortic valve stenosis.

Conclusion

Heart valve disease is a chronic condition, but it is treatable with medication and/or surgery. The best course of action for your circumstances can be discussed with you by your doctor. You can contribute as well, regardless of what your provider does. Increase your physical activity, consume a heart-healthy diet, and abstain from tobacco use. Keep taking any prescribed medications as directed, and attend all follow-up consultations.

Take control of your heart health by availing early diagnosis and timely treatment. Click here to get expert advice on your valvular heart disease treatment.

FAQs

Q1: How can Heart Valve disease be naturally treated?

A: Maintaining Heart Valve health can be achieved naturally by following a heart-healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, abstaining from tobacco use, and controlling blood pressure. A person should consult a healthcare provider if their symptoms suddenly change.

Q2: Can Heart Valve issues resolve completely?

A: The majority of Heart Valve disorders are now treatable. Medication may be used to manage symptoms or stop the illness from getting worse. Your doctor might also recommend surgery or another operation to replace or fix a malfunctioning heart valve.

Q3: Is it possible to treat Heart Valves without Surgery?

A: While close monitoring under the guidance of a cardiologist is necessary to help manage potential symptoms. Mild or moderate heart valve disease does not require surgical therapy. Many of these patients can be treated with blood pressure and cholesterol medications nowadays, and many of them won't ever need heart valve surgery.

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