Heart valve disease, also referred to as valvular heart disease, occurs when one or more of your heart valves don't work properly.
When a valve does not open or close all the way, blood doesn’t move through the heart’s chambers the way it should. This can leave you weak and short of breath.
At the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, we use advanced diagnostic testing and surgical techniques to care for people with heart valve diseases and other serious heart defects.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
Your heart has four valves:
Birth defects, age-related changes, infections, or other conditions can damage one or more of your heart's valves. This can make your heart work harder and affect its ability to pump blood.
Left untreated, valvular heart disease can lead to stroke or heart failure.
Heart valves can develop one or both of these problems:
At the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer standard and minimally invasive procedures to treat all types of heart valve diseases, including:
In people whose heart valve disease comes on severely and suddenly, symptoms can occur quickly.
If your disease develops slowly and your heart has time to adjust, you may barely notice your symptoms.
Symptoms of heart valve disease include:
Your doctor at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute may diagnose a heart valve problem during a physical exam by using a stethoscope to listen for a murmur (an abnormal heart sound).
Additional tests to confirm heart valve disease may include:
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to expect your test results and will call you when they're available.
UPMC's Heart and Vascular Institute offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treating heart valve disease.
Our team of cardiologists, cardiovascular imaging experts, heart valve and aortic experts, and other specialists use state-of-the-art procedures to diagnose your valvular heart disease.
Then, based on the type and severity, we tailor treatments for your specific valve condition.
Historically, treatment options for heart valve disease has been limited to surgical valve replacement and medical therapy.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a promising treatment alternative for people with severe heart valve disease who are at high surgical risk.
The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers educational information and videos about heart valve diseases and other heart and vascular conditions.
Many people find these resources helpful in answering their questions about their condition and preparing them for their procedure or diagnostic test.