Heart valve disease

One or more of your heart valves becomes damaged or diseased

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

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

  • What are the symptoms of heart valve disease? icon plus

    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • swelling of the ankles and/or feet
    • feeling unusually fatigued (tired)
  • Diagnosing heart valve disease icon plus

    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.

  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    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 cardiologists

We're proud to work with leading heart experts, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex cardiothoracic surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional cardiac care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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