ZocdocAnswersCan I die from a heart valve defect?

Question

Can I die from a heart valve defect?

I am waiting to have it fixed. How dangerous is this.

Answer

Heart valve defects come in quite a few varieties. I can't tell from your question what type of heart valve problem you have, but I can give you a quick review of the 2 most common types and what their detrimental effects can be. The best type of physician for you to see about this is a cardiologist. The most common type of heart valve problem is aortic stenosis. This occurs when the aortic valve become stiff and does not open as well when the heart squeezes blood to the body. Another common type of valve problem is mitral regurgitation. This is when blood flows partially in the wrong direction when the heart contracts. The most common complication of heart valve disease that goes untreated is heart failure. Thus severe heart valve disease is very dangerous and can result in death if left untreated. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist. He or she take a detailed history of your symptoms, perform a thorough cardiovascular exam, and review any imaging including echocardiograms that you have had done. From there, the cardiologist can recommend treatment. Sometimes the best treatment is surgical replacement of the valve, whereas sometimes the valve can be fixed through minimally invasive approaches. Good luck.

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