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My husband was told he needs heart surgery for mitral valve regurgitation and his aorta valve. my husband has been told he needs heart surgery for valves in his heart. should he get a 2nd opinion? also i had rheumatic fever as a child. i was told about

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alec Moorman
Cardiology 23 years experience
Hi : Hi mary, thank you for your questions. First let's start with your husband. There are specific criteria for determining when a heart valve should be repaired or replaced. They are outlined in guidelines from the american heart association and american college of cardiology. Without knowing more specific details about his case, i can only make some general points. First, when there is excessive leaking from the mitral or aortic valves, this causes the heart to dilate and eventually weaken. Alternatively, when the aortic valve gets calcified, thick and narrowed this is called aortic stenosis. When this condition is severe, very high pressure builds up in the heart and the muscle thickens and eventually fails. If left untreated, any of these conditions can cause permanent and severe heart damage. Your husband may need one or both repaired or replaced. Double valve surgery is higher risk, but still feasible. There is no reason to get a second opinion if your doctor can clearly explain to you the criteria by which he needs both valves replaced. It is important to see a surgeon that you trust and who has good reported surgical outcomes. As far as your case, your rapid weight gain and symptoms of fatigue, breathlessness and chest pain are all symptoms of heart failure. If you have rheumatic heart disease, you may also have a bad valve as the cause for these symptoms. You should see a cardiologist and have a complete physical and an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound). If the problem is with your valve, it may be able to be repaired or perhaps replaced.
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Dr. Joshua Buckler
Cardiology 21 years experience
Mary, I : Mary, i agree with everything that dr. Moorman pointed out. I would add that generally speaking, if the recommendations made by his cardiologist are sound, and you and your husband would feel better by seeking a second opinion, then your cardiologist should support you. If they don't then i would be concerned that the recommendations being given are not based on as sound of decision making as you might otherwise be led to believe.
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Dr. Frederick Tibayan
Thoracic Surgery 25 years experience
Possibly: If you have questions, ask your doctor. There is nothing wrong with getting another opinion.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


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