Heart Valve Disease in Williamsport, PA
The heart contains four one-way valves that allow blood to flow in and out of the heart muscle. Heart valve disease occurs when one of these valves stops working. This may be caused by an underlying heart condition, illness or aging. In rare cases, heart valve disease can lead to a heart attack.
In most instances, heart valve disease is not considered an emergency, but should be treated as soon as possible by an experienced cardiologist.
Experienced heart surgeons and cardiology providers at UPMC are committed to to helping patients of all ages achieve optimal heart health. If you or a loved one is experiencing heart valve disease in Williamsport, PA, Find a Provider at UPMC.
Heart Valve Disease Symptoms
If you have heart valve disease, you may not even realize you have the condition. Often, there are no symptoms present. Your doctor may hear a murmur or other abnormal sound while performing a routine chest exam with a stethoscope.
Common symptoms of heart valve disease include:
- Chest pain
- Fluttering or heart palpitations with physical exertion
- Increased heartbeat with physical activity
- Symptoms of congestive heart failure, such as swelling of the legs and feet, shortness of breath and fatigue
If you have symptoms of heart valve disease, consult a cardiology provider at UPMC. Our Heart & Vascular Institute offers advanced diagnostic testing and treatment for heart valve disease.
Heart Valve Disease Causes
The causes of heart valve disease include normal aging, untreated illnesses and related heart conditions. Some people are born with a defective heart valve, called congenital valve disease.
The most common causes of heart valve disease are:
- Changes to heart valve tissues, such as stiffening, due to normal aging processes
- Congenital abnormalities that occur during fetal development
- Heart attack with serious scarring and other heart conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Infection of the lining of the heart
- Rheumatic fever, a condition caused by an untreated strep (bacterial) infection
Heart Valve Disease Treatment at UPMC
After the appropriate tests have been performed to diagnose the root cause, cardiologists at Susquehanna Health can treat heart valve disease through either medication or surgery, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. Surgical procedures may include heart valve repair, heart valve replacement or balloon valvuloplasty.
The goal of treatment will be to repair or replace damaged heart valves, relieve the symptoms of the disease and increase quality of life. You can take steps toward prevention of further problems by promptly treating infections (such as strep throat) and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle (through diet and exercise).
UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is at the forefront of medical care to treat heart valve disease in Williamsport, Wellsboro,Lock Haven, Muncy, and surrounding areas of PA.