Articles on Medical Diseases and Conditions

Entries for the ‘Guide to Preventing and Treating Heart Disease’ Category

Repair or Replacement of Heart Valves

The vast majority of procedures to repair or replace heart valves are done on the mitral and aortic valves on the left side of the heart. The mitral valve controls in?ow and the aortic valve controls out?ow for the hard-working left ventricle that pumps blood to the rest of the body. These two valves are […]

Medications for Valve Disease

Although medications cannot “?x” a diseased valve, they can help ease your symptoms, reduce the load on your heart as it works to compen- sate for a damaged valve, and regulate your heart’s rhythm if it is dis- turbed by abnormal blood ?ow. Digitalis (digoxin) is frequently prescribed for a person with valve disease to […]

Pulmonary Valve Problems

The pulmonary valve controls the blood ?ow between the right ventri- cle and the pulmonary artery leading into the lungs . Although disease is rare, the pulmonary valve can develop regurgitation (backward leakage) or stenosis (narrowing). Pulmonary Regurgitation Pulmonary regurgitation is a condition in which some blood is allowed to leak back from the pulmonary […]

Tricuspid Valve Problems

The tricuspid valve is on the right side of the heart, regulating the blood ?ow between the right atrium and the right ventricle. Disease in this valve is fairly rare. However, regurgitation (backward leakage of blood through the valve) may occur as the only valve problem or may occur with other problems. Stenosis (narrowing of […]

Mitral Valve Problems

The mitral valve regulates the ?ow of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber that pumps blood out into the arteries. It is composed of two lea?ets supported by a ?ne structure of stringlike tissues attached to the heart muscles. The mitral valve may be affected by prolapse, regurgitation, […]

How Valve Problems Occur

Any of the four heart valves (mitral, aortic, tricuspid, or pulmonary) can be defective or become diseased in a variety of ways. The most common problems occur in the mitral and aortic valves, on the left side of the heart. The most typical causes of valve problems are: • Congenital defects, meaning that a person […]

Heart Valve Problems

The four valves that control the one-way ?ow of blood through the chambers of your heart open and close with your every heartbeat. These delicate structures deep inside your heart are critical to the meas- ured passage of about 100 gallons of blood every hour. Responding to pressure changes behind and ahead of them, the […]

Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery

Cardiologists in some medical centers are exploring two alternatives to coronary bypass surgery in efforts to ?nd less invasive and less expensive ways to treat coronary artery disease. Both of these alternatives are prom- ising, but the results and long-term outcome are still being evaluated. Port-Access Coronary Artery Bypass (PACAB or PortCAB) For this procedure, […]

Coronary Artery Bypass

Coronary artery bypass, which creates new routes for blood to ?ow around or bypass a clogged artery, is a major surgical procedure to restore adequate blood supply to the heart. To perform a bypass, a sur- geon removes part of a vein from the person’s leg or thigh, or an artery from the chest wall […]


Medications and lifestyle changes are not always enough to prevent a heart attack. A person who comes to the hospital with severe angina or a heart attack probably has one or more coronary arteries that are com- pletely blocked. The ?rst priority is to restore blood ?ow immediately, and the next concern is to reduce […]