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What is the Treatment for Heart Valve Disease?

Learn about treating heart valve disease, including medications, surgery, and how health insurance can support comprehensive care.

  • 07 Feb 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 24 views

The heart is the most important organ in our bodies, pumping blood continuously to sustain our energy. At the core of its workings are four valves that open and close with each heartbeat, regulating the one-way flow of blood. As blood exits each chamber of the heart, it passes via a valve. The valves stop blood from flowing backward. These important valves are susceptible to various diseases that can impair their mechanics. One such disease is heart valve disease, a common condition that can often be effectively managed through a variety of treatment options tailored specifically to each patient's needs. In this article, we will explore the different valve disease treatment options.

Treatment of Heart Valve Disease

In certain instances, your physician might simply wish to closely monitor the heart valve issue for a while. However, depending on the type of heart valve disease, various valve disease treatment options may include:

Medicine

Medicines cannot cure heart valve disease but can reduce symptoms. These medications could consist of:

  • Digoxin, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers, that work by regulating heart rate and averting irregular cardiac rhythms to lessen the symptoms of heart valve disease.
  • Blood pressure medications, such as diuretics, which eliminate extra water from the body by raising urine production, or vasodilators (which relax blood vessels and lessen the force the heart must pump) to relieve cardiac strain.

Surgery

Surgery might be required to replace or repair the malfunctioning valve(s). Surgical procedures could involve:

  • Repair of the heart valve- Surgery to replace the damaged valve may be able to relieve symptoms in certain situations.

Examples of heart valve repair surgery include inserting a prosthetic ring to help narrow a dilated valve or remodeling abnormal valve tissue to restore proper function. Because a patient's own tissues are used, heart valve repair is typically preferred.

  • Replacement of the heart valve- Heart valves may require replacement when they are seriously damaged or deformed.

Replacement valves can be made of mechanical materials like plastic, metal, or another artificial substance, or tissue (biologic) valves like animal valves or donated human aortic valves. Usually, this requires cardiac surgery. However, non-surgical methods can be used to manage certain valve diseases, like mitral valve regurgitation or aortic valve stenosis.

Balloon valvuloplasty

It is an additional, less invasive heart valve disease treatment option compared to valve replacement or repair surgery. A unique catheter, or hollow tube, is inserted into a blood vessel and guided into the heart during this non-surgical procedure. A deflated balloon at the catheter's tip is inserted into the narrowed heart valve. The balloon is inserted, inflated to widen the valve, and then taken out. Both pulmonary and, in rare instances, aortic stenosis are treated with this procedure.

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Conclusion

To sum up, managing valve disease requires a multimodal strategy that includes lifestyle modifications, medication, and, in extreme situations, surgery. Health insurance plays an important role in helping people navigate the financial aspects of receiving comprehensive care as they consider their treatment options. Health insurance serves as a safety net, reducing the financial strain of medical costs related to tests, prescription drugs, and potentially complex surgery.

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