Heart valve disease is a common condition, affecting many people. As valves age, calcium builds up around the valve tissue and can make the valve area of the heart brittle. Calcium buildup can also lead to a condition called stenosis. Stenosis is a condition that narrows the valve opening and limits blood flow through the heart. Typically, valve stenosis occurs with aging.
On the other hand, when a valve fails to close completely blood can flow backward into the chamber from which it came, resulting in excess pressure in the heart or lungs. As a result, the heart may enlarge, weaken, and eventually fail.
Other valve diseases may involve damage to the mitral, aortic, pulmonary, or tricuspid heart valves caused by a systemic infection, endocarditis or inflammation of heart tissue, rheumatic heart disease, and congenital heart defect.
Valve disease can be treated both through medication and surgery. Your doctor will decide the treatment that is best for you. For information on living with your new heart valve device, click the management tab.