Heart Valve Disease

A heart valve problem can be potentially life-threatening with no symptoms or it can often be insignificant with uncomfortable symptoms. The key to diagnose, treat, and prevent valve disease in its early stage is to tell your healthcare provider about irregular symptoms you have that you’re concerned about.

Heart valve disorders are developed by a leakage of blood in the valve or narrowing of the valve opening that affects the functioning of a heart valve i.e. to ensure the continuous flow of blood in a forward direction.

Causes of Heart Valve Disease:

There are several certain causes for the acquired heart valve disease; whereas, congenital heart valve disease occurs before birth when the heart is developing. The causes may include, but not limited to:

  • Heart conditions and other cardiovascular disorders, such as heart attack, cardiomyopathy, aortic aneurysm, and coronary artery disease
  • Age-related changes
  • Rheumatic fever or infections
  • Infective endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart tissue
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disorder

These factors not only influence the functioning and flexibility of the heart valves but also affect their structure.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease:

Some patients with heart valve disease report or complaint of no symptoms, whereas others may experience the following symptoms:

. In some cases, the condition manifests itself as:

  • Breathlessness and fatigue
  • Chest pain or palpitations
  • Weakness or inability to perform daily activity
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Headaches and coughing
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Water retention can cause swelling in the abdomen
  • Pulmonary edema, identified as excessive fluid in the lungs

See your doctor immediately if you suspect to have symptoms of the heart valve disorder, as only a cardiac-care specialist can detect the disease and determine an appropriate treatment plan. If the condition goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

During your initial consultation with a doctor at American Hospital Dubai, you doctor may advise on a couple of diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Electrocardiogram, to check for abnormal heart rhythms
  • Echocardiogram, to obtain pictorial information about the heart valves and chambers
  • Cardiac catheterization to determine the type and severity of the valve disease
  • MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis
  • Chest X-ray to see if the heart is enlarged

In some cases, a stress test is also recommended to evaluate how symptoms are affected by the patient’s physical exertion. Based on the diagnosis and other factors such as the size and severity of the disorder as well as the patient’s overall wellbeing and preference, the doctor determines a course of action for the treatment of the disorder. Mostly, we begin with conservative treatments comprising medication and counseling on heart-healthy lifestyle changes and food choices, along with continuous medical supervision.

In cases when the disease doesn’t manage with medicine and symptoms become severe then advanced treatment options such as heart valve repair and other surgeries are indicated. The cardiac care team of Consultant Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons at American Hospital Dubai have extensive experience in providing surgical solutions to treat complex heart valve cases with a significant success rate.

Book an Appointment:

At American Hospital Dubai’s Cardiology Care Unit, we experienced cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are experts at evaluating and treating heart valve problems through advanced techniques backed by state-of-the-art technology. If you have heart valve disease, make sure to have regular checkups with your doctor as this will help the doctor to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment or heart-healthy lifestyle changes recommended for the improvement of your heart valve disease.

To learn more about the early detection and effective treatment of heart valve disease in Dubai, please make an appointment with a cardiologist consultant using our secure online booking form.

American Hospital Panel of Doctors

Firas Raouf Alani

Consultant - Chief of Heart & Vascular Center

Arabic, English

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