Valvular Heart Disease

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What is Valvular Heart Disease?

Valvular heart disease is any disease process involving one or more valves of the heart. The valves in the right side of the heart are the tricuspid valve and the pulmonic valve. The valves in the left side of the heart are the mitral valve and the aortic valve.

  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Valvular cardiomyopathy

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There are many different types of valvular heart disease; some of the types can be congenital (present at birth), while others may be acquired later in life. The causes are listed below:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Heart valve tissue degeneration due to aging
  • Bacterial endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart muscles and the heart valves (endocardium)
  • A heart attack may damage the muscles that control the heart valves
  • High blood pressure and atherosclerosis may damage the aortic valve

Other disorders like rheumatic arthritis, carcinoid tumours, syphilis or systemic lupus erythematosus may damage one or more heart valves. A medication called methysergide used to treat migraine headaches and some diet drugs may promote valvular heart disease. Radiation therapy used to treat cancer may also be associated with the valvular heart disease.


Depending upon how quickly the valvular heart disease develops, the symptoms can occur suddenly. However, if it advances slowly, then your heart may adjust and you may not notice the onset of any symptoms. Additionally, the severity of the symptoms does not necessarily have relation to the severity of the valve disease. For example, you could have severe valve diseases, but show no symptoms at all. Also, severe symptoms may arise from even a small valve leak.

Most of the symptoms like swelling of the ankles, feet, hands or abdomen, shortness of breath and wheezing after limited physical exertion are similar to those associated with the congestive heart failure.

Other symptoms include:

  • Mild chest pain, palpitations
  • Dizziness or fainting (with aortic stenosis)
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Fever (with bacterial endocarditis)


During the examination, your doctor will listen to distinctive heart sounds known as heart murmurs, which indicate the valvular heart disease. You may undergo one or more of the following tests as part of your diagnosis:

An electrocardiogram, also called as an ECG or EKG, will measure the electrical activity of the heart, thickening of the heart muscles (hypertrophy), regularity of heartbeats and heart-muscle damage from coronary artery disease.

Chest X-rays.

Echocardiogram will evaluate the heart function. During this test, sound waves bounced off the heart are recorded and then translated into the images. These images can reveal, the abnormal heart shape, size and movement. This test can also be used to calculate the ejection fraction or the volume of blood pumped out of the body when the heart contracts.

Stress Testing, also called as treadmill tests will measure the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rates and the ECG changes during the exercise. During this test, the electrical activity of the heart is monitored through the small metal sensors that are applied to the skin while you exercise on a treadmill.

Cardiac Catherization, is the threading of a catheter into the heart chambers for measuring the pressure irregularities across the valves to detect the stenosis. It is also performed for observing the backflow of an injected dye on an X-ray for detecting incompetence.

Treatments for Valvular Heart Disease:

The treatment options for the valvular heart disease includes the following:

In the mild or asymptomatic cases, your doctor may adopt a “watch and wait” policy.

A course of antibiotics is prescribed prior to surgery or dental work for patients with this condition, in order to prevent the bacterial endocarditis.

Antithrombotic or clot-preventing medications, like aspirin or ticlopidine is prescribed for patients who have experienced unexplained transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).

Potent anticoagulants such as warfarin is prescribed for those having an atrial fibrillation (a common complication of the mitral valve disease) or those who continue experiencing TIAs despite initial treatment. Long-term administration of the anticoagulants is required following the valve replacement surgery, as the prosthetic valves are related to higher risks of blood clots.

Long-term anti-biotic therapy is recommended to prevent the recurrence of the streptococcal infection in patients with rheumatic fever.

Balloon Dilatation, also referred as a balloon enlargement of a narrowed heart is a surgical technique where a thin catheter with a small deflated balloon is inserted into the narrowed site and then inflated. This procedure is performed to widen a stenotic valve.

Valve Surgery may be necessary to repair or replace a damaged valve. The replacement valves may be prosthetic valves (artificial) or bioprosthetic valves (made from animal tissue). The selection of the type of replacement valve depends on the patient’s condition, age and the specific valve affected.

Many patients have undergone a number of minimally invasive heart surgeries through India Cardiac Surgery Site, these include:

  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Atrial Septal Defect Closure
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair And Replacement Surgery

Why Choose India for Valvular Heart Disease Treatments?

Choosing India for the valvular heart disease treatments can be combined with a refreshing holiday to experience the rich, cultural and historical facets of India. Medical tourism in India is booming at an aggressive rate as it offers world class facilities and quality treatments at lower costs. The Indian Cardiac Surgeons are highly qualified professionals renowned for performing complex cardiac surgeries.

If you are really seeking treatments for the Valvular Heart Disease, kindly fill up the form for a free consultation with our expert cardiologists. You will be provided with thorough analysis and suggestions regarding the Valvular Heart Disease treatments you are seeking for.
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