• Valvular Heart Disease

    Heart valve disease can reduce the pumping efficiency of the heart and eventually cause heart failure. The cardiovascular medicine experts at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center offer trusted diagnosis and state-of-the-art treatment for valvular heart disease.

    The heart contains four valves that permit the one-way flow of blood through the heart and lungs. One or more of these valves can be damaged by disease. This damage can result in stenosis (valve narrowing), regurgitation, insufficiency (valve leaking), or a combination of stenosis and regurgitation.

    In adults, the most commonly affected valves are the aortic and mitral valves, and less commonly, the tricuspid and pulmonic valves. When valvular heart disease progresses to a point where the heart can no longer pump effectively, symptoms occur and may include:

    • Fluid retention
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Angina (chest pressure)
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fainting spells

    At this point, the damaged valve(s) must be repaired or replaced.

    Treating Valvular Heart Disease

    At Lahey, patients with heart valve disease are evaluated and treated through a coordinated effort by nationally recognized clinicians and surgeons who are experts in their respective specialties. Cardiologists with expertise in cardiac imaging and the treatment of heart rhythm disorders work as a team in the cardiac catheterization laboratories with cardiovascular surgeons to diagnose and treat all types of heart valve disease.

    In cooperation with the American Heart Association, Lahey cardiologists have contributed to the publication of national guidelines for the management of patients with heart valve disease. Cardiologists are also involved in a variety of research programs directed at improving the quality of life for patients. State-of-the-art care from Lahey's team of nationally recognized cardiologists reduces complications and improves the survival of patients with heart valve disease.

    Treatments available at Lahey include:

    • Valvuloplasty, which uses balloon angioplasty to dilate diseased heart valves in order to improve blood flow between the heart chambers.
    • Heart valve surgery, which includes both valve repair and valve replacement procedures.


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