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Cardiology

Heart Valve Disease Treatment in Dubai at CMC

Heart valve diseases are conditions that affect one or more of the heart’s four valves. With each heartbeat, valves open and close to keep blood flowing in the proper direction. Heart valve problems can arise if the valves are leaking (regurgitation), excessively narrow (stenosis), or lack of suitable opening (atresia).

Our US & German Board-Certified Cardiologists are experts at diagnosing and treating a wide range of heart valve complications and diseases.

Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease

Some of the common symptoms of heart valve disease include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swelling of ankles and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal swelling
  • A whooshing sound which can be heard when the doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the patient’s heart.

Complications of Heart Valve Disease

If left untreated, heart valve disease can lead to complications such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Death

Risk Factors of Heart Valve Disease

There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of heart valve disease including:

  • Existing heart disease or a heart attack in the past
  • Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other risk factors for heart disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • History of infection that affects the heart
  • Old age

Causes of heart valve diseases

The four valves of the heart namely the mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary, and aortic valves open and close once per heartbeat. When one or more of the valves fail to open or close properly, blood flow through a person’s heart to the body is disrupted.

Heart valve disease may be congenital-present at birth or develops in adults due to various causes and conditions such as infections and other heart conditions.

Some of the heart valve problems include:

  • Stenosis: A narrowed valve opening and reduced blood flow occur due to the valve flaps becoming thick and fusing together.
  • Regurgitation: This is a situation whereby the heart valves don’t close properly causing blood to leak backward into the heart. It occurs due to valve prolapse.
  • Atresia: This occurs when a solid sheet of tissue blocks the blood flow between the heart chambers.

Diagnosis of Heart Valve Disease

To make a definitive diagnosis, the cardiologist will conduct a physical exam that will involve listening to the patient’s heart murmur, a possible sign of a heart valve condition.

The following tests might be recommended during the diagnosis:

  • Echocardiogram (ECG): This test uses sound waves to create an image of the patient’s blood flow and heartbeat.
  • Cardiac CT: This involves the use of X-rays to make a video of the patient’s blood vessels and heart.
  • Exercise stress test: This is used to test how the heart responds to extremely vigorous activity.
  • Cardiac catheterization: Involves the use of a small tube/catheter that is inserted through a blood vessel to measure the patient’s blood flow and pressure.

Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

Treatment for heart valve disease is based on the patient’s symptoms, the severity of the condition, and if it is worsening with time. During the treatment period, a cardiologist will monitor the patient’s condition with regular follow-ups.

The patient might also be asked to:

  • Take medications to treat the symptoms
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes

If the patient experiences atrial fibrillation, a specific type of abnormal heart rhythm, blood thinners are recommended in order to lower the risk of blood clots.

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