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Keeping the Doors to Your Heart Open

Heart valve disease refers to disorder of one or more of the heart’s four valves—the “doors” to your heart that ensure blood flows only forward. Heart valve disease is comprised of valvular stenosis (tissue becomes stiffer and narrows the opening) or valvular insufficiency (“leaky” valve when valves don’t close properly). Heart valve disease can be present at birth or acquired.


Symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness and swelling of feet, ankles or abdomen. Diagnostic tests include echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization and many others. Treatment includes medication and surgery.