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Basics about Heart Valve problems

Heart Valve Problems | HealthSoul

Heart Valve Problems

Heart has four valves and can get damaged over time leading to leaky or narrow heart valves.It is important to identify the symptoms of leaky heart valves soon.

CHANDIGARH, INDIA, May 27, 2019 / -- Heart has 4 valves and can get damaged over time leading to leaky or narrow heart valves. It is important to identify these symptoms of leaky heart valves so that treatment can be started soon. The common types of heart valve problems include aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, tricuspid regurgitation. In this article learn about the anatomy of heart valves, symptoms and treatment of heart valve problems.

What are heart valves and what do they do?

Heart has four chambers, two on the top and two at the bottom. Top chambers are small, called atrium. Bottom chambers are larger and called ventricles. Atria and ventricles are divided by a muscle into left and right side. These chambers work in sync with each other so that blood flow in one direction from one chamber to the other (from Right upper chamber to right lower chamber to Lungs to Left upper chamber to left lower chamber to Rest of the body). Heart valves are like doors between two chambers which open and close at the right time so that blood does not flow back and continue to flow in the right direction. Heart has four valves - tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve on the right side, mitral and aortic valve on the left side.

Where are heart valves located?

Tricuspid valve: It is located between right atrium and right ventricle. It opens to allow blood flow from right atrium to right ventricle.
Pulmonary valve: It is located between right ventricle and lungs. It opens to allow blood flow from right ventricle to lungs.
Mitral valve: It is located between left atrium and left ventricle. It opens to allow blood flow from the left atrium and left ventricle.
Aortic valve: Is located between left ventricle and aorta, the main artery of the body. It opens to allow blood flow from the left ventricle to aorta.

What are the symptoms of Leaky Heart Valves ?

Shortness of Breath and Leg Swelling are the most common symptoms of leaky heart valves.
Chest pain
Passing out
Weight gain due to leg swelling

What are the causes of narrow and leaky heart valves ?

Age related calcification of the valves
Rheumatic fever
Congenital deformity of the valves
Heart attack
Congestive heart failure

What are the different types of heart valve problems?

Stenosis or Narrowing of the valves: Valve opening can become restricted or narrow causing difficult for blood to flow.

Leaky or Regurgitant valves: Valve does not close properly, and blood flow in the opposite direction making it hard for heart to pump blood.

Aortic valve: Aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation
Mitral valve: Mitral stenosis and mitral regurgitation
Tricuspid valve: Tricuspid regurgitation and tricuspid stenosis
Pulmonary valve: Pulmonary regurgitation and pulmonic valve stenosis

What is the treatment for heart valve problems?

Your Cardiologist will treat primary medical problems like hypertension and infection. There are no specific medications to treat valves. The problems are generally treated with open heart surgery to replace or repair the valve. Some valve problems like mitral regurgitation and aortic stenosis can be fixed via nonsurgical approach in some patients.

What are the different kind of artificial valves?

The 2 main kind of artificial valve are mechanical valves and tissue valves. Mechanical valve typically need a lifelong blood thinner like warfarin but they usually have a longer life span. The tissue valves generally last for shorter duration like 10 years but have the advantage of not needing blood thinners.
Every patient’s circumstances are different due to difference in kind of of valve problem and other medical conditions.

You can read more about heart conditions in Cardiology Blog on Healthsoul.

Mr. Anish Garg
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