Heart Valve Disease
Heart Valve Disease Treatment at Allegheny Health Network
Your heart has four chambers, and each one has its own valve, which blood passes through before leaving its chamber. The valves keep your blood flowing in the correct direction as they open and close once during each heartbeat.
Sometimes the valves become diseased, and they don’t open or close properly, which disturbs the blood flow through your heart to the rest of your body. This can lead to serious complications, including heart failure, atrial fibrillation and pulmonary hypertension.
There are two types of heart valve disease:
- Stenosis is when your valve opening becomes narrowed. Your heart then has to pump blood with increased pressure in order to move blood through the valve.
- Regurgitation occurs when your valve does not close completely, causing blood to flow backward through the valve and into the heart. The condition also forces your heart to work harder to pump more blood on the next heartbeat.
In many patients, standard valve surgery is considered high risk, complex and unsafe. But through advancement at the Cardiovascular Institute, patients who previously had no treatment possibilities now have options for even the most complex valve disease.