Heart valve disease


The diseased or damaged heart valve can affect the flow of blood in your heart in one of two ways

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About heart valve disease

If one of the valves in your heart becomes diseased it can affect the flow of blood. This can happen in one of two ways: valve stenosis (where the valve does not fully open and obstructs or restricts flow) or valve incompetence (where the valve does not close properly and blood is allowed to leak backwards). Both can put extra strain on your heart.

Need to know

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the ankles and/or feet
  • feeling unusually fatigued (tired)

Heart valve disease can be difficult to diagnose because it can often be symptomless. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above you should tell your doctor. Your doctor may listen to your heart for a murmur (an unusual sound during your heartbeat). If they detect a heart murmur, it does not necessarily mean there is a problem.

Your doctor may suggest you have further tests such as an echocardiogram, to look at how effectively your heart is functioning and measure your blood flow.

You may not require any treatment for heart valve disease unless your symptoms impact on your daily life. If your symptoms do not worsen, your cardiologist may ask you to return in a year's time for a review. Treatment options can include medicines and heart valve surgery, but your treatment will depend on the cause of your problem and the effect that it is having on your heart.

Our Heart valve disease locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Cardiac Clinic

The Cardiac Clinic

London Bridge Hospital SE1 2PR London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.