Valvular heart disease affects around 13% of older Americans today. Undiagnosed and untreated valvular heart disease can lead to heart failure, heart attack, or stroke, but that need not happen to you. At Madison Avenue Cardiovascular in Midtown, Manhattan, board-certified cardiovascular physician Mark Meyer, MD, FACP, FACC, offers comprehensive cardiology care at his office in New York City. Click the online appointment tool or call the office to book your evaluation now.
Valvular heart disease is a group of conditions occurring in any of your four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, tricuspid, and pulmonary heart valves.
Each of your heart valves functions as a door to one of your heart chambers. Your heart valves open to allow blood to flow forward, and they have a built-in mechanism to prevent backward blood flow. But, in some cases, your valves may develop problems, such as:
Regurgitation occurs when your valve doesn't seal properly, which allows blood to leak backward into the valve.
Stenosis occurs when a heart valve narrows, preventing blood from moving out in the normal way.
Valvular heart disease can potentially be very serious. If undetected and untreated, your heart problem could worsen and lead to heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening health problems.
Valvular heart disease doesn't necessarily cause symptoms. In some cases, Dr. Meyer diagnoses valvular heart disease after he detects a heart murmur during a physical exam. If your valvular heart disease does cause symptoms, those may include:
Less commonly, valvular heart disease can sometimes cause chest pain.
At Madison Avenue Cardiovascular, Dr. Meyer performs an echocardiogram to diagnose valvular heart disease. This non-invasive ultrasound test produces moving images of your heart.
When combined with Doppler ultrasound, an echocardiogram shows how the blood moves in your heart. In some cases, you may need stress testing if echocardiogram results aren't clear.
Valvular heart disease treatment depends on the specific valve issue, the degree of damage, your overall heart health, and other factors specific to you.
Dr. Meyer can prescribe heart medications and may recommend lifestyle changes to better manage health issues that affect your heart, such as hypertension and high cholesterol.
If you need surgery, Dr. Meyer can perform procedures like heart valve repair or replacement to restore healthy blood flow and heart function.
If you have valvular heart disease, you can stay healthy and vital with help from Madison Avenue Cardiovascular. Call the office or use the online appointment tool to book your consultation now.