Valvular Heart Disease Therapy

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Valvular Heart Disease Therapy
Valvular Heart Disease Therapy
Video: Valvular Heart Disease Therapy
Video: Valvular heart disease diagnosis and treatment | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy 2023, February

Heart valve defects: diagnosis & therapy

Heart valve diseases often cause no symptoms for a long time and are only discovered by chance. However, they must always be taken seriously because they usually progress and not only affect the quality of life, but can also shorten life. The therapy depends on the type and severity of the disease.


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  • How is the diagnosis made?
  • How are valve defects treated?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

How is the diagnosis made?

A heart valve generates typical noises (heart tones) when opening and closing, which the doctor can listen to with a stethoscope. Changes to the flaps also change the flow noises perceptibly. In this case we speak of background noise. The most important examination is an ultrasound examination of the heart (echocardiography). This can be used, for example, to determine whether there are calcifications or scarring on the heart valves and to what extent the heart has already been damaged. Cardiac catheterization, magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography may also be required if necessary.

How are valve defects treated?

Symbolic photo for heart with stent © Henrie

Heart valve defects are treated differently depending on their type and severity. In the case of mild and moderate aortic valve stenosis, therapy is limited to treating the symptoms. Medicines can change the pressure and flow conditions of the blood in the heart and in the bloodstream. This can indirectly slow down the progression of the valve defect. However, this does not solve the real problem.

Severe valve malfunctions can lead to heart failure or high blood pressure in the lungs. Surgical treatment should therefore be carried out, if possible, before permanent, potentially life-threatening damage occurs. You can choose either an artificial replacement or a restoration (reconstruction) of the affected heart valve. The valve defect can usually be completely eliminated through the surgical procedure.

Check-ups after surgery

Regular checks are required after a valve operation. In addition, in the case of febrile bacterial infections or certain interventions, endocarditis prophylaxis with antibiotics is necessary to avoid inflammation of the valve. Patients with a mechanical heart valve must continuously take anticoagulant medication. After a successful valve operation, endurance sports such as cycling and jogging are recommended. Competitive sports or maximum physical activity are not recommended.

Whom can I ask?

Do not wait until the symptoms become more severe, but go to the doctor as soon as you notice the first symptoms, especially if your performance is significantly reduced. You can contact the following offices:

  • General Practitioner,
  • Specialist in internal medicine with an additional subject in cardiology.

How are the costs going to be covered?

All necessary and appropriate therapies are covered by the health insurance carriers. Your doctor or the outpatient clinic will generally settle accounts directly with your health insurance provider. However, you may have to pay a deductible with certain health insurance providers (BVAEB, SVS, SVS, BVAEB).

However, you can also use a doctor of your choice (ie doctor without a health insurance contract) or a private outpatient clinic. For more information, see Costs and Deductibles.

When hospitalization is required

Hospitalization may sometimes be required for treatment. The hospital costs are billed for. The patient has to pay a daily contribution to the costs. Further medication treatment at home takes place by prescription by the general practitioner or specialist.

For more information, see What does a hospital stay cost?

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