Heart Center

Heart Valve Management

The heart's valves open and close to keep blood flowing properly, with oxygenated blood flowing into the heart and blood needing oxygen flowing out. Valve disease occurs when the heart's valves do not function properly. Some disorders cause stenosis (narrowing) or obstruction of the valves, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the body. Other valve disorders are characterized by the inability of valves to close completely. These regurgitation or insufficiency disorders allow blood to leak back through the valve into the heart. Mission Hospital offers the latest therapies and treatments for valve disorders, from drug therapies to the most advanced minimally-invasive heart surgery techniques.

Specific Cardiac Defects

Mission Hospital offers the latest therapies and treatments for valve disorders, from drug therapies to the most advanced minimally-invasive heart surgery techniques. Click on the following links to learn more.

Diagnosis

After you have described your symptoms and your physician has performed a physical examination, any one of several diagnostic tests may be used to diagnose and determine the severity of the valve disease and your current heart health. These diagnostic procedures may include an echocardiogram, Doppler ultrasound, transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) or cardiac catheterization.

Treatment

A number of medical treatments can be used to manage valve disorders, depending on the severity of illness. Medications that improve the heart's ability to pump, regulate its rhythm, or reduce its workload are often helpful in alleviating symptoms. Antibiotics are also necessary before any procedure that may cause bleeding in order to reduce the chance for infective endocarditis, an infection that affects the valves. The experienced cardiologists at Mission Hospital work with patients to identify the medications that would be most effective in managing symptoms and protecting the heart valves from further damage.

Other treatments include invasive procedures such as balloon valvuloplasty, which may be used to relieve stenosis, or narrowing, of the heart valves.