Living with severe aortic stenosis or moderately severe/severe mitral regurgitation can make life difficult. Are you short of breath constantly? Do you have to miss out on events with family and friends because you don’t have the energy? Are you no longer able to do the things you used to enjoy? We know. Our patients were just like you.
How Does Your Heart Work?
The heart is designed to pump blood through your body. The right side of your heart pumps blood through the lungs, where the blood picks up oxygen. The left side of the heart receives this blood and pumps it into the rest of your body.
Each time your heart beats it pumps blood through valves by contracting its chambers. These valves open in one direction allowing blood to flow forward. In between beats, the heart’s chambers quickly relax, and its valves close, preventing blood from flowing backward.
The Aortic Valve
has three leaflets. It controls blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta, sending blood to the rest of the body.
The Pulmonary Valve
has three leaflets. It controls blood flow from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery, sending blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
The Tricuspid Valve
has three leaflets. It controls blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle.
The Mitral Valve
has two leaflets. It controls blood flow from the left atrium and left ventricle.
Two Common Heart Valve Problems
- Stenosis: When your valve narrows and does not completely open because of problems like high cholesterol (a waxy fat), age, genetics (such as a birth defect) or build-up of calcium.
- Regurgitation: When your valve does not fully close and allows blood to leak backwards through the valve.