They open and close to control or regulate the blood that enters and leaves the heart. Heart valve disease affects four million people each year and is more common in the elderly.
Weekend Extra welcomes Dr. Basel Ramlavi, head of cardiac surgery at the Lankenau Heart Institute, part of Main Line Health, to review heart valve disease.
Dr. Ramlavi is a nationally renowned cardiac surgeon who specializes in treating patients with complex aortic and valvular heart disease.
WHAT IS HEART VALVE DISEASE?
We think of valves as “doors” between the heart chambers that allow blood to flow in the right direction. When these valves or doors get sick, it happens in two ways.
- The valve may narrow or stenosis, and the valve may not open completely if blood tries to pass.
- Second, the valve may become leaky or regurgitate. So the blood goes back, not forward.
If the heart cannot pump blood efficiently throughout the body and it has to work harder to pump, it can lead to DEPOSITION, fatigue and, ultimately, life-threatening heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest and death.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS OF HEART REMOVAL DISEASES?
We think of valve disease, how does it affect patients in the form of two buckets – something you were born with (IE CONSEQUENCES) or something that has been acquired (IE DEVELOPMENT OVER TIME)?
- Hereditary diseases of the valves with which people are born usually involve a bicuspid aortic valve, so it is an aortic valve that has two flaps instead of the usual three. It affects about 2-3% of the population.
- Another valve problem we usually observe with is mitral valve prolapse. Where in these patients the connective tissue is slightly stretched and this can cause the valves to leak.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MOLIC VALVE DISEASE?
- Heart valve disease can develop quickly or over a long period of time. If valve disease progresses more slowly, symptoms may not appear until the disease is fairly advanced.
- When it develops more suddenly, the most common things we see are people who are more likely to choke on physical activity.
- There may be other symptoms associated with heart valve disease, such as dizziness or vertigo, chest discomfort, fatigue, or irregular heartbeat.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS OF THE LANKENAU HEART INSTITUTE FOR PATIENTS WITH HEART VALVE DISEASE?
The Lankenau Heart Institute is transforming the field of cardiovascular care by offering less invasive next-generation devices.
We are constantly striving to treat our patients with the most effective, minimally invasive treatments (no open heart surgery) available for their particular condition, and we bring unique and very diverse opportunities to these efforts.
From mechanical valve replacement, bioprosthetic valve replacement, percutaneous or catheter approaches such as TAVR, Mitra Clip (mitral valve repair), percutaneous mitral valve replacement, and recently expanded tricuspid valve repair and replacement options.
We currently offer one of the largest portfolios of innovative and minimally invasive valve repair options in the country.
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