Doctor insights on:
What Is The Significance Of A Sticky Heart Valve
Valve: The valve opens to allow flow out of the heart to the body. If it doesn't open properly we call this stenosis. It has to close properly to keep blood flowing in a forward direction. If it doesn't we call this insufficiency. Either or both abnormalities can exist in the valve. Severe stenosis results in decreased cardiac output eventually as does severe insufficiency. ...Read more
A valve is a structure that regulates the direction of flow. The heart is a special kind of pump. It moves blood by squeezing and relaxing. There are 4 chambers and each chamber has a valve. This keeps blood from moving backwards when the heart squeezes. When a chamber squeezes it lets the blood move forward but when the chamber is relaxed it prevents the blood from ...Read more
Definition: Heart valves function to seal a chamber (closed) so blood can fill. When the chamber contracts the valve opens to allow blood to exit. When the valves do not function properly, we usually refer to a valve leaking or not closing correctly (insufficieny or regurgitation) or not opening correctly (stenotic). So when you describe the vavle being "sticky" can you describe it in these terms? ...Read more
Stenosis: Blood will have trouble going between heart chambers and great vessels. Depending on the chronicity and the degree of stenosis, bad damage can happen to your lung circulation and your heart chambers. Consequences can be catastrophic. Heart attacks, syncope, heart failure, arrhthmias, sudden death. Common causes are uncontrol htn, congenital bicuspid aortic valve, infections/iv street drugs etc. ...Read more
Not in adults:
Many many children have a "heart mummurs" or so called leaky valves and often they do disappear by adolescent age or earlier. Unfortunately for adults, leaky valves typically results from diseases and they don't go away without treatments. If you have it, check with your doc for regular monitoring. Some type may require antibiotics before dental work etc. Thus should consult your doc.
Good luck. ...Read more
Born with vs acquire: Leaky heart valves occur congenitally when some aspect of the valve leaflets/annulus/supporting structures is abnormal at birth. They can also be acquired as a result of changes in the heart structure/valve structure/aorta/lungs over time. Heart attacks can damage valves, as can infectious endocarditis, cardiomyopathy, enlarging aortic root, pulmonary disease causing pulmonary hypertension. ...Read more
Depends: The 4 main valves in the heart are the mitral valve, aortic valve, pulmonic valve and tricuspid valve. The left sided valves are the mitral and aortic valves. If they leak high systemic blood pressure makes it worse and strict controll of your blood pressure is essential. The right sided valves, especially the the tricuspid valve can be made worse with conditions such as sleep apnea. ...Read more
To direct flow: A heart valve functions to allow unidirectional blood flow. When chambers of the heart contract, one heart valve will open and one will close; this effectively allows only one low resistance pathway for the blood to follow. If there were no valves, blood would flow backwards from where it just came as well as forwards. This would significantly decrease the effectiveness of the heart as a pump. ...Read more
Are you a surgeon?: Some heart valves can be repaired. Some can't. Full textbooks and extensive lecture series with demonstrations are devoted to this subject. Most people rely on their doctor who can refer them to a surgeon who is very practiced in this highly technical field. ...Read more
Remove/Replace: The heart is stopped. The patient is placed on bypass which pumps blood and breathes for the patient while the heart and lungs are not being used. The old valve is removed and a new valve is stitched in place. This can be either a "tissue valve" from a pig or cow, or a mechanical valve which is completely artificial. ...Read more
Yes: Blood moving through the heart is more effecient if it only moves in one direction. Valves open and allow blood to pass through. Then they close and prevent blood from moving backward from where it came. The aortic and pulmonic valves open in systole (during contraction). The mitral and tricuspid valves open during diastole (when the heart is resting and filling). ...Read more
Depends: Artificial valves come in two general types - biological and mechanical. Biological valves are usually made from cow or pig tissue. Mechanical valves are made of graphite and metal. Patients on mechanical valves need to be on long term coumadin (warfarin). Not all valves need to be replaced, some may be repaired. Good luck. ...Read more
Depends which valve: Repair most commonly is done on mitral valve, especially when mitral prolapse is present. The excess, "floppy" tissue causing the valve to prolapse is excised to make leaflets more taught. Sometimes an artificial ring is inserted around the base of the leaflets to cinch the whole apparatus together, if it has become dilated, preventing leaflets from closing up against each other. ...Read more
It depends.: It depends upon the basis for the comment. If the comment was based upon a review of an echocardiographic assessment of ones heart, then it implies a near-normal valve. On the other hand, if it's based upon the reporting of the intensity of a heart murmur heard with a stethoscope, then the accuracy is dependent upon the skill of the person using the instrument. ...Read more
Yes: Many people can have mild leaks (regurgitation) of one or more of their heart valves (aortic, mitral, tricuspid and pulmonic). Often mild to moderate regurgitation is tolerated quite well and can be followed. Moderate to severe regurgitation can sometimes be followed closely if the patient has no symptoms and the heart is otherwise ok, but severe leaks can lead to serious problems. ...Read more
Usually no: Probably the most common "torn heart valve" is the mitral valve with a ruptured support structure. Frequently when a patient has a ruptured mitral valve apparatus, they are in dire need of mitral valve repair and do not do well in its absence. Rarely however, the patient will be ok for some time, but since mitral insufficiency can be asymptomatic until it's too late, I would not wait too long. ...Read more
Two ways: In the past, this is done with open heart surgery and the old valve is cut out and a new one sewn in to replace it. A new technique for the aortic valve involves crushing the old valve by blowing up a balloon and then placing the new valve through an artery in the leg, just as is done with a coronary artery stent. The procedure has been used successfully in high risk patients for surgery. ...Read more
Complicated: The cardiac cushions in the atrioventricular (av) canal contain cells that are the primordia of the cardiac valves. The atrioventricular valves are attached to papillary muscles by chordae tendineae. ...Read more
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