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What are the possible treatments for heart valve disease?

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In brief: Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

People with mild heart valve disease only require regular testing and close monitoring.
The doctor may prescribe the following treatment for serious cases:
Medication
For patients found with symptoms of cardiac failure or those with a severe narrowing of the heart valve and signs of irregular heartbeat, the doctor may consider relieving the heart’s burden with oral drugs including diuretics (water pills) and digoxin.


Surgery
If the patient is confirmed to only have a narrowing of the mitral/aortic valve, the doctor will arrange for a procedure known as percutaneous balloon dilatation (similar to “balloon angioplasty”).

Valvulotomy or heart valve replacement surgery may be necessary in severe cases. In heart valve replacement surgery, the damaged valve is replaced by the doctor with one made of synthetic materials or animal tissues. Besides, the operative mortality rate is 3-7%, depending on pre-operative conditions and other risk factors, such as left ventricular function, history of stroke, carotid artery disease and diabetes, etc.

?
Biological valve
It is made of bovine pericardium (lining of a cow’s heart) or porcine aortic valve tissue. They do not require anticoagulation but only last for 10-15 years and therefore a second operation may be necessary when the valve wears out.


Mechanical valve
It is made of titanium and metal, so they are more durable and last for a lifetime. However, they require lifelong administration of anticoagulants (blood thinners) with a 1-2%/year risk of bleeding or stroke.

In brief: Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

People with mild heart valve disease only require regular testing and close monitoring.
The doctor may prescribe the following treatment for serious cases:
Medication
For patients found with symptoms of cardiac failure or those with a severe narrowing of the heart valve and signs of irregular heartbeat, the doctor may consider relieving the heart’s burden with oral drugs including diuretics (water pills) and digoxin.


Surgery
If the patient is confirmed to only have a narrowing of the mitral/aortic valve, the doctor will arrange for a procedure known as percutaneous balloon dilatation (similar to “balloon angioplasty”).

Valvulotomy or heart valve replacement surgery may be necessary in severe cases. In heart valve replacement surgery, the damaged valve is replaced by the doctor with one made of synthetic materials or animal tissues. Besides, the operative mortality rate is 3-7%, depending on pre-operative conditions and other risk factors, such as left ventricular function, history of stroke, carotid artery disease and diabetes, etc.

?
Biological valve
It is made of bovine pericardium (lining of a cow’s heart) or porcine aortic valve tissue. They do not require anticoagulation but only last for 10-15 years and therefore a second operation may be necessary when the valve wears out.


Mechanical valve
It is made of titanium and metal, so they are more durable and last for a lifetime. However, they require lifelong administration of anticoagulants (blood thinners) with a 1-2%/year risk of bleeding or stroke.
Quality HealthCare Team
Quality HealthCare Team
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Dr. Umesh Patel
Board Certified, Preventive Medicine
39 years in practice
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