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Home >> Specialities >> Cardiology >> Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular heart disease is a complex cardiovascular condition that affects the function of the heart's valves. Sanar Hospital recognizes the importance of providing comprehensive information about this condition to promote awareness and facilitate better patient care. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for valvular heart disease.

Causes of Valvular Heart Disease
Valvular heart disease occurs when one or more of the heart's four valves do not function properly. There are several possible causes:

  • Congenital Defects: Some individuals are born with abnormal heart valves, which can cause valvular problems later in life.
  • Rheumatic Fever: A history of untreated or inadequately treated streptococcal infections, such as rheumatic fever, can lead to valve damage.
  • Infections: Endocarditis, an infection of the heart's inner lining, can damage heart valves.
  • Aging: As individuals age, their heart valves can degenerate, becoming less flexible and efficient.
  • Calcification: The gradual build-up of calcium deposits on the heart valves can restrict their movement and function.
  • Diseases: Conditions like atherosclerosis or hypertension can indirectly affect heart valves by causing changes in the heart's structure and function.

Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease
The symptoms of valvular heart disease can vary depending on the affected valve and the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of Breath: Patients may experience difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity or when lying flat.
  • Chest Pain: Some individuals may experience chest discomfort or pain, particularly during exercise or when the heart is working harder.
  • Fatigue: Unexplained tiredness or weakness can be a sign of valvular heart disease, as the heart struggles to pump blood efficiently.
  • Heart Palpitations: Irregular heartbeats or the sensation of rapid, strong, or skipped heartbeats can occur.
  • Swelling: Fluid retention can lead to swelling in the ankles, feet, or abdomen.
  • Fainting or Dizziness: Reduced blood flow caused by valve dysfunction can result in fainting spells or dizzy spells.

Diagnosis of Valvular Heart Disease
Sanar Hospital offers a range of diagnostic procedures to identify and assess valvular heart disease, a few of them are as below:

  • Echocardiogram (Echo): This non-invasive ultrasound test provides detailed images of the heart and its valves, allowing for the assessment of their structure and function.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This records the heart's electrical activity and can detect irregularities.
  • Chest X-ray: X-ray images can reveal the size and shape of the heart and its valves.
  • Cardiac Catheterization: In some cases, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel and guided to the heart to assess valve function and severity.

Treatment Options for Valvular Heart Disease

  • Lifestyle Modifications: In some cases, lifestyle changes, such as salt restriction and regular exercise, can help manage symptoms.
  • Medications: Depending on the type and severity of valvular heart disease, medications may be prescribed to control symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, or prevent infection.
  • Valve Repair: Some valves can be surgically repaired, preserving the patient's natural valve tissue.
  • Valve Replacement: Severely damaged valves may need to be replaced with mechanical or biological prosthetic valves.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Sanar Hospital offers minimally invasive valve repair or replacement procedures when appropriate, resulting in shorter recovery times and smaller incisions.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be prescribed before dental procedures or surgeries to prevent endocarditis in individuals with valve disease.

Valvular heart disease is a complex condition that requires timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Sanar Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for patients with valvular heart disease, from diagnosis through to treatment and rehabilitation. By raising awareness and offering advanced treatments, we aim to improve the quality of life for individuals affected by valvular heart disease and reduce its impact on our community. Early detection, personalized treatment plans, and a commitment to patient well-being are key to effectively managing valvular heart disease and promoting heart health.

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