Valvular Heart Disease

Contact Information

Location
Boswell Building
300 Pasteur Drive
Room A-260
Stanford, CA
Phone
(650) 723-6459

Clinic Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm

There are four major valves in a person's heart that direct blood flow forward through the chambers of the heart. Valvular heart disease can occur with any one or a combination of the valves, and it will often lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Diseases of the mitral or aortic valves (the valves of the left side of the heart) are most common affecting more than 5 percent of the population. Valvular heart disease implies that a valve either fails to open properly (stenosis) or fails to close properly allowing backward flow of blood (regurgitation).

Heart valves can have both malfunctions at the same time (regurgitation and stenosis). When heart valves fail to open and close properly, the implications for the heart can be serious, possibly hampering the heart's ability to pump blood adequately through the body. Heart valve problems are one cause of heart failure.

Treatments at Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Treatment varies, depending on the type of valvular heart disease. In some cases, medication alone is successful in the treatment of valvular heart disease. In cases of high risk patients with valvular heart disease, Stanford Cardiovascular Health uses a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating these patients.

At Stanford, we repair rather than replace heart valves whenever possible to preserve a patient's own tissues so that blood thinning (anticoagulation) medications are not required. Repaired valves do not deteriorate like other valve replacements.

When patients have combined disease of both the aortic valve and the ascending aorta (the large vessel that houses the aortic valve and takes blood out of the heart), we strive again to replace the diseased aorta and repair the aortic valve using a technique known as "valve-sparing aortic root replacement."

Refer to valvular heart disease medical and surgical treatments.

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