The four valves in your heart are responsible for ensuring that blood flows in the right direction. When one or more of your heart valves malfunctions, you are in trouble. You must seek a diagnosis for valvular heart disease in Plano as soon as you experience circulation complications. Although the condition is not as common as high blood pressure and coronary artery disease, it is dangerous. Though you can detect a heart murmur or other common signs of the disease, your cardiologist will have to diagnose the condition accurately through the help of certain tests and procedures as outlined herein. Have a look.
An EKG is a simple test that allows your doctor to detect and record your heart’s electrical activity. It will indicate an irregular heartbeat and show heart attack signs. A doctor will also test to determine if your heart chambers have become enlarged. Your provider can relate the findings to valve malfunctions or rule them out. The procedure will be carried out at your doctor’s office in most cases.
X-Ray to the Chest
Your doctor can recommend a chest x-ray to see if some sections of your heart have become enlarged. The x-ray can also show if you have calcium deposits in your heart or detect fluid in your lungs. Additionally, a chest x-ray helps your doctor understand the particular valve defect you have, its severity, and if you have or are at the risk of other heart complications.
Echocardiography involves your doctor placing a transducer on the surface of your chest that creates a moving picture of your heart as it beats by the use of sound waves. The device sends the waves to your heart through the chest wall, causing echoes to convert to pictures displayed on a computer screen. The pictures can indicate the shape and size of your heart chambers and valves, show how well your heart is pumping blood, and indicate if the valves have narrowed down or had backflow.
A catheter, a thin, long, flexible tube, is inserted into one of your blood vessels in your neck, arm, or groin and threaded to your heart. The catheter is guided to the preferred position through x-ray images. The device will show if backflow is happening and indicate how fully the valves open. You will be comfortable during the procedure, but your doctor will give you some relaxing medications, and you will be awake. The test will help your doctor diagnose symptoms that are inconsistent with echo results and assess symptoms due to specific valve issues.
A stress test involves getting your heart to beat faster as tests and imaging are recorded. You will be required to exercise or be given special medications to raise your heart rate. This test will indicate if your valvular heart disease signs and symptoms are present. It can also help your doctor assess the severity of your disease.
This type of MRI involves employing powerful radio waves and magnets to produce detailed images of your heart. This test confirms any valve defects or provides additional information to aid your doctor in your diagnosis.
Reach out to Heart and Vascular Care today if you have suspicious signs and symptoms of valvular heart disease for help. Your provider will guide you in the best tests and procedures right for you.