Valve disorders (heart valve disease) occurs if a valve becomes stiff or does not close correctly.
The four chambers that make up your heart each have an exit or valve. These valves ensure that blood flows freely in one direction and does not 'leak' back into the chambers.
Valve disorders can be congenital (occur at birth) or as a result of another disease or infection
Symptoms of valve disorders vary and do not always occur. Symptoms can include:
- Weight gain (rapid)
- Swelling in feet and/or ankles
- Bloating (swelling) of your abdomen
- Palpitations [hyperlink]
- Difficulty breathing or short of breath when active or lying down
These symptoms can be a result of other conditions. You should seek medical treatment if you experience these symptoms. Your GP may refer you to a specialist consultant for diagnosis and treatment.
How are valve disorders diagnosed?
After a thorough examination your consultant may recommend one or more tests:
Angiography (cardiac catheterisation)
Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)
How are valve disorders treated?
Treatment for your valve disorder will vary depending on your own situation. Medications to ease symptoms and protect the valves from further damage may be prescribed including control of high blood pressure and drugs to thin your blood.
If conservative methods to control your valve disorder are not successful your consultant may recommend surgery to repair or replace the diseased valve(s).