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Valve Disease

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The heart has 4 main valves that work in rhythm to keep blood flowing through the body. These 4 valves are called the tricuspid valve, the pulmonary valve, the mitral valve and the aortic valve. Each valve regulates the flow of blood into or out of the heart depending on the valve location. When these valves become damaged it can interrupt the flow of blood and damage the heart if not corrected. A person can be born with valve disease or can develop valve disease.

Symptoms

Symptoms of valve disease can vary depending on the affected valve. Many symptoms mimic those of heart failure. Symptoms may include heart murmur, chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath or lightheadedness.

Please note if you experience symptoms of heart failure including chest pain, palpitations, or shortness of breath you should seek immediate care, as these could be symptoms of a heart attack.

Causes

Causes depend on whether the valve disease is acquired or congenital.

Congenital valve disease usually affects the valves flowing from the ventricles of the heart. The aortic or pulmonary valves may be malformed, may be the wrong size, may have cusps that are not correctly attached to the valve or may have an inappropriate number of cusps.

Valve disease that has developed over time can be caused by aging or infection. Risk factors for acquired heart valve disease may include:

  • Aortic valve calcification
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Deterioration over time with age
  • Endocarditis, an infection of the heart
  • Marfan’s syndrome
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Syphilis
  • Trauma that causes damage and scar tissue near the heart

Treatment Options

After conducting diagnostic tests to determine the specific valve malfunctioning and the extent of the valvular damage, your cardiovascular surgeon can recommend the surgical options to help repair or replace the valve. Advanced surgical options offered by the Cardiac Surgery Associates of Tampa include the innovative TAVR surgery, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement. This procedure is a state-of-the-art treatment option more suitable for patients who cannot withstand an open-heart procedure. Read more about the minimally invasive valve repair options that our physicians can provide here.

If you believe you or a loved one is in need of valve disease treatment, please contact our office by phone at 813.910.0027 or online using this form