Heart valve disease is a condition where the valves in your heart are not opening and shutting properly. The heart valves regulate blood flow by opening to let blood through and
Heart Valve Disease Care at UVM Medical Center
The UVM Medical Center has some of the most experienced cardiologists in the region. Our team of doctors
- Mitral Valve Prolapse - a common type of valvular heart disease that occurs when the mitral valve doesn't close tightly.
- Mitral Valve Regurgitation - this occurs when the blood leaks back through the valve in the wrong direction. Mitral valve prolapse can sometimes cause regurgitation.
- Aortic Valve Regurgitation - a problem with the aortic valve where it doesn't close properly
- Aortic Stenosis - this type of valvular heart disease occurs when the aortic valve doesn't open enough and blocks blood flow.
When you are a patient at the UVM Medical Center, you can feel confident knowing you have placed your care in experienced and skilled hands.
Heart Valve Disease Diagnosis
The diagnosis process begins with your doctor asking you about your symptoms, your medical history
- Imaging Tests
- Echocardiogram - also known as an echo, this is an ultrasound of the heart
- Positron Emission Tomography scan (PET) - the use of a tracer substance to study how well organs and tissues are working
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan (MRI) - an imaging test that uses magnets and radio waves to take images of the inside of your body
- Cardiac Catheterization - also known as a cardiac cath, this is a more invasive imaging procedure. Its goal is to get a detailed picture of how well your heart is functioning and confirm the presence of heart valve disease. During this procedure, a catheter is moved into your heart using a special X-ray machine as a guide. A contrast dye is then injected through the catheter to obtain “movies” of your valves, arteries and heart chambers.
Treatments for Heart Valve Disease
There are a number of options when it comes to treatments for heart valve disease. Your specific course of treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. At the UVM Medical Center, we offer the following treatments:
- Protective Measures for Heart Valve Disease - patients with
heartvalve disease are at a higher risk of developing a serious condition called endocarditis. We recommend the following steps in order to help protect your valve from further damage:
- Inform your doctors & dentist that you have heart valve disease - it is important to alert your doctors and dentist that you suffer from heart valve disease. An identification card is available from the American Heart Association with this information.
- Treat Infections - if you have the symptoms of an infection, call your doctor
- Maintain oral hygiene - avoid infections in your teeth and gums. Make regular appointments with your dentist.
- Take antibiotics before procedures - talk to your doctors if you need to undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding
- Diuretics - to help remove any extra fluid from your body
- Antiarrhythmics - drugs used to control abnormal heart rhythms
- Vasodilators - used to encourage blood flow forward rather than backward
- ACE Inhibitors - a type of vasodilator that treats high blood pressure and heart failure
- Beta Blockers - used to reduce the stress on the heart by helping it beat slower
- Anticoagulants - also known as blood thinners, these are used to reduce the risk of developing blood clots
onyour heart valves
- Surgery - depending on the exact diagnosis, we may recommend heart valve repair or replacement. We perform the following minimally invasive heart surgery to treat heart valve disease:
The UVM Medical Center is one of a select group of hospitals that participate in clinical trials to evaluate revolutionary treatments. There is a clinical trial in progress used to treat
Please note: Some of the doctors and specialists listed below may not treat this specific condition.