Heart valve disease occurs when any of the four valves that allow blood to flow in and out of the heart stops working properly. An underlying heart condition, an illness, or aging can cause valve dysfunction. Although it is rare, a heart valve problem can lead to a heart attack.
Dignity Health offers advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment protocols for a variety of heart conditions, including heart valve disease, in the Bay Area. Find a Doctor at Dignity Health.
Heart Valve Disease Causes
Common causes of heart valve disease include:
- Certain heart conditions, including heart attack and high blood pressure
- Changes to heart valve tissues, such as stiffening, due to aging
- Congenital abnormalities that develop before birth
- Infection of the lining of the heart
- Rheumatic fever, a condition caused by an untreated strep infection
Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
Many people with heart valve disease do not have noticeable symptoms. Heart valve problems are often diagnosed when your doctor hears an abnormal sound (murmur) while listening to your heart through a stethoscope.
If symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Chest pain
- Fluttering or racing heartbeat with physical activity
- Symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as shortness of breath, swelling of the legs and feet, and fatigue
Treatment of Heart Valve Disease at Dignity Health
At Dignity Health, our treatment efforts for heart valve disease focus on relieving symptoms, repairing valve damage, and avoiding future valve damage.
Some heart valve diseases can be successfully treated with medication. Others require surgery to repair or replace a diseased valve. Your choice of treatment will depend on the severity of your heart valve disease and its cause.
When you need treatment for heart valve disease, you can trust the cardiac team at Dignity Health to use state-of-the-art treatment protocols while caring for you with respect and humankindness.
You can trust Dignity Health to diagnose and treat heart valve disease in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.