Valvular intervention

Your heart’s valves are very vital parts of your cardiovascular system because they keep your blood flowing in the correct direction. In cases where one or more valves do not open or close properly, this can cause the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted. So the type of treatment that you get, and the extent of the procedure will depend on the kind of damage caused and severity of the valve disease.

What is heart valve disease?

Valvular heart disease is characterised by damage to or a defect in one of the four heart valves. Every person has two heart valves; the mitral valve, and the tricuspid valve. In heart valve disease, one or more of the valves in your heart fails to work correctly, which results in valvular heart disease. This disease has the power to disrupt that way your blood flows through the heart.

Two main problems can occur, namely, regurgitation and stenosis. Regurgitation happens when the valve does not close completely which causes the blood that is supposed to pump outwards to pump backwards instead. The backward flow can also result in a build-up of fluid in the lungs. Stenosis happens when the valve tissue thickens or becomes very stiff. When this happens, regular blood flow between your heart and the rest of your body.

Some symptoms of heart valve disease:
  • An abnormal sound in your heartbeat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet.
  • Irregular heartbeat.

How does the treatment work?

Many people can live with valve disease and do not require surgery. However, in some cases, the valve needs to be fixed or replaced. Depending on your needs, there are different ways that your valves can be repaired. During surgical repair procedures, the doctor can sometimes need to reshape the tissue and fix any areas that might have stuck together.