The valves in your heart help blood to flow freely and in the right direction. If you develop problems like a heart murmur or chest pain that could indicate a valve disorder, visit board-certified cardiovascular specialist Shahnaz Begum, MD, FACC, at Heart Care in Frisco, Texas. Dr. Begum is highly skilled in diagnosing and treating valvular heart disease. If you suspect you’re having heart valve issues, call Heart Care to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.
Valvular heart disease occurs when one of the four heart valves isn’t working correctly. These valves separate the heart’s four chambers, opening and closing as your heart beats to help blood circulate throughout your body.
If you have valvular heart disease, a valve may be unable to close completely, so blood can trickle through (leaky valves, also known as valvular regurgitation). Or a valve may narrow, limiting blood flow (valvular stenosis). Aortic stenosis (which affects the aortic valve) is one of the most common valvular heart diseases.
Valvular heart disease also includes conditions like atresia, where a valve fails to form as it should and creates a solid tissue block that stops blood flow.
Valvular heart disease symptoms include:
Some people are born with valvular heart disease. In others, it develops after an infection or because of an underlying health problem like hypertension (high blood pressure) or atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries).
To diagnose valvular heart disease, Dr. Begum discusses your symptoms and reviews your medical and family history. She also performs a physical exam, using a stethoscope to listen to your heart. Depending on what she learns from these investigations, Dr. Begum may arrange various tests to assess your heart function, such as:
These studies provide information on your heart’s inner structures and the effects any valve defect has on your heart. Then, Dr. Begum can design a personalized treatment plan for you.
The treatment Dr. Begum advises for valvular heart disease varies depending on the condition’s causes and severity. Many patients simply require routine monitoring to ensure the valve problem isn’t worsening or causing adverse effects.
If your condition isn’t manageable or your risk of cardiac problems is high, Dr. Begum might suggest heart valve surgery. Minimally invasive procedures, like transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), replace your diseased heart valve. Some people may be suitable for a repair rather than a replacement.
If you have a heart murmur or other valvular heart disease symptoms, call Heart Care to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.