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Heart Valve Disease

Call (410) 897-0822

We treat all types of heart valve disease, including the kind some people are born with and those that result from age or other health problems.

What Is Heart Valve Disease?

Your heart has four valves, with flaps that open and close with every heartbeat. The flaps allow the right amount of blood to pump through your heart in the right direction. With heart valve disease, one or more of your heart's valves don't work correctly.

Heart valve disease doesn't always cause symptoms or problems. But sometimes, if it worsens, it can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke.

The three main types of heart valve disease include:

This is when a valve doesn't close tightly and allows blood to leak back into the heart's chambers rather than flowing forward through the heart or into an artery.

This happens when the flaps of a valve thicken, stiffen or fuse together. It prevents the heart valve from opening all the way, so not enough blood flows through the valve. Some valves can have both stenosis and backflow problems.

This is when a heart valve doesn't have an opening for blood to pass through. It's a defect some people have from birth.

The Best Heart Valve Care in the Region

Luminis Health provides award-winning cardiac care. Our heart specialists use advanced technology to diagnose and manage problems like heart valve disease to keep your heart healthy. Our patients have access to:

  • A dedicated heart center. We offer a dedicated inpatient unit for people with heart conditions, as well as cardiac catheterization labs, a cardiovascular critical care unit and a cardiac rehabilitation center.

  • Nationally recognized care. The American College of Cardiology recognizes Luminis Health for our commitment to hospital care for heart patients. We appear on the 2022 U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Hospitals."

  • Heart treatments recognized by the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association recognizes us as one of only 25% of hospitals in the U.S. qualified to perform emergency cardiac catheterization.

  • The latest technology for minimally invasive procedures. With advanced testing, we can detect and treat heart valve disease — often with minimally invasive procedures. That means small incisions, less pain and a quicker recovery for you.

Preventive Care: Catching Heart Valve Disease Early

Often, other health problems cause heart valve disease. So preventing or managing those conditions can reduce the risk of developing heart valve disease. Being proactive is your most powerful tool in caring for your heart.

We can help you monitor your heart health and prevent or detect heart valve disease early. Luminis Health heart specialists recommend you:

  • Have a yearly physical, so your doctor can listen to your heart and check your blood pressure and cholesterol.

  • Tell your doctor about any history of rheumatic fever, endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of your heart) or intravenous drug use, all of which increase your risk of heart valve disease.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.

  • Get plenty of exercise.

  • Don't smoke or use illegal drugs.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

Heart Valve Disease Diagnosis and Treatments

Heart valve disease doesn't always cause problems, so it may not require treatment. But when it does, early diagnosis means more effective treatment and a healthier heart. We use the most advanced technology to diagnose and treat heart valve disease.

Heart valve disease tests and screening

Our specialists use various tests to diagnose heart valve disease. Among them are:

  • Echocardiogram. An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that shows how your heart and valves are working.
  • Cardiac MRI. This is a test that creates 3D images of your heart and valves.
  • CT angiogram. This is a CT scan of your heart.
  • Stress tests. These tests measure your heart's rate and rhythm during exercise.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG). An EKG is a quick and painless test to measure your heart's electrical activity.

Heart valve disease treatments

You might not need any treatment. But if you do, we can manage your arrhythmia in different ways. Treatment depends on the type of valve disease you have, what's causing it and how severe it is.

Surgical treatments for heart valve disease

Our heart surgeons have expertise with various surgical treatments to repair or replace heart valves. Surgery can prevent more severe damage, but whether you need it depends on your age, health and your type of valve disease.

Some heart valve diseases require surgery to repair or replace valves. We use minimally invasive techniques when we can. These procedures use very small incisions to repair or replace valves.

The advantages of such techniques include:

  • Less pain.

  • Lower risk of infection.

  • Shorter hospital stays.

  • Faster recovery.

Our heart surgeons can often repair a blocked valve with a minimally invasive balloon valvuloplasty technique. In this procedure, we insert a thin catheter tube into a blood vessel and threads it to your faulty valve. Then, we inflate a small balloon on the tip of the catheter to open the valve.

Medical treatments for heart valve disease

There aren't any medicines that cure heart valve disease, but some can treat underlying conditions and keep your heart valve disease from worsening. Your doctor might prescribe medication to:

  • Lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, if it's high.

  • Widen and relax your blood vessels, so blood moves through more easily.

  • Slow down or regulate your heartbeat.

  • Thin your blood and prevent blood clots.

Support, Resources and Programs for Heart Valve Disease

If you need education, information or support in making healthy lifestyle changes, we're here for you. Luminis Health provides:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation programs.

  • Weight-loss groups.

  • Heart-healthy eating classes and events.

  • Smoking-cessation programs.

  • Behavioral health resources.

Next Steps & Contact

Luminis Health Cardiology Annapolis

Primary Location

2000 Medical Pkwy, Belcher Pavilion, Ste 510, Annapolis, MD 21401

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