Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Is Heart Valve Disease Treated?

Treatment for heart valve disease depends on the type and severity of valve disease. There are three goals of treatment for heart valve disease: protecting your valve from further damage; lessening symptoms; and repairing or replacing valves.

Protecting your valve from further damage.

If you have valve disease, you are at risk for developing endocarditis, a serious condition. People who have mitral valve prolapse without thickening or regurgitation/leaking are not at risk of developing endocarditis.

You are still at risk for endocarditis, even if your valve is repaired or replaced through surgery. To protect yourself:

Tell your doctors and dentist you have valve disease. You may want to carry an identification card with this information. The American Heart Association website (http://www.americanheart.org) has a bacterial endocarditis wallet card that you may download; or call your local American Heart Association office or the national office at 1-800-AHA-USA1
Call your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection (sore throat, general body aches, fever). Read more...

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