Heart valve disease should not be ignored. Valve repair and replacement can be very effective and evidence shows that, with proper treatment, most people enjoy a return to good health and add many years to their life. If you ignore a recommended procedure, there is a risk of heart failure, which may be fatal.
Your treatment explained
Current clinical guidelines on the management of heart valve disease make a clear distinction between symptomatic and asymptomatic conditions – however what they identify is the need to treat severe cases of heart valve disease.
Without treatment, patients with severe disease face reduced longevity, impairments in physical and social functioning, and lower emotional well-being. All these factors can contribute to poor quality of life.
Your healthcare professional will offer you information about what treatments are available to you.
Heart valve disease cannot be reversed with medication alone. In the long-term, the only effective solution is to undergo a surgical repair or, more often, replacement with surgery or new transcatheter procedures. Valve repair or replacement can help people can return to a good quality of life with their friends and family. Please discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Sometimes, medication or balloon valvuloplasty may be considered the best course of action if the patient’s symptoms are currently mild or if replacement is no longer an option.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed for patients with valvular disease to:
1. Reduce unpleasant symptoms that accompany milder forms of the disorder
2. Maintain heart rhythm if a related arrhythmia is present
3. Lower the patient’s risk for clotting and stroke
Heart valve disease is a progressive condition, and the outlook is poor for those who receive no effective intervention. Many who do receive valve replacement go on to live very full and healthy lives, especially when their cardiovascular risks are otherwise low. For some patients, the procedure gives them over 15 years longer lifespan.