Heart valves are located between the heart chambers and function to regulate the blood flow in forward direction. If the valves do not work properly blood either flows back into the chamber or finds difficulty in flowing through it. In both the conditions, it effects the heart function and as a result body fails to get sufficient amount of blood circulation. There four valves in heart:
What causes valve damage?
Some of the conditions causing valve damage are:
Congenital valve disease – This type of abnormality is present since birth. Depending on the severity of defect, the diseased valve should be treated as early as possible.
Infection – Infection leads to endocarditis and rheumatic heart disease.
Degenerative valve disease – Defect occuring as a result of wear and tear cause degenrative valve disease. It makes the valve less stiff, pliable, in extreme cases replaces the entire valve with calcium.
Myxomatous valve disease – Defect occuring due to weak valve tissue. The valve becomes too pliable and causes leakage.
When does heart valve surgery becomes necessary?
The urgency for surgery depends on many factors such as type of valve disease, age, severity of the condition and medical history. Generally a heart valve surgery is needed if one or more of the following symptoms are present:
The valve defect is damaging your heart structurally such as chamber weakening or enlargement
The valve impairment is affecting your heart’s ability to pump blood during exercise or rest.
The valve is leaking severely without showing any symptoms.
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