Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Valvular Heart Disease Treatment
It is important that we have an accurate diagnosis before we start treatment for valvular heart disease. Our doctors work carefully to obtain a precise diagnosis, so we can tailor your treatment plan effectively. We will discuss all of your treatment options with you and answer any questions you may have.
Valvular Heart Disease Treatment in Burlington, VT
There are a number of treatment options for valvular heart disease. Your specific course of treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. You may need only one type of treatment, or we may decide to combine two or more treatments in order to offer you the best outcome.
Treatment options include the following:
Protective Measures for Valvular Heart Disease
Patients with heart valve disease are at higher risk for developing a serious condition called endocarditis. In order to protect your valve from further damage, we recommend that you:
- Inform your doctors and dentist that you have valve disease. You an even order an identification card from the American Heart Association with this information.
- Treat infections. Call your doctor if you have symptoms of an infection.
- Maintain oral hygiene. Avoid infections in the teeth and gums. Make regular appointments with your dentist.
- Take antibiotics before procedures. If you need to undergo any procedure that may cause bleeding, talk to your doctor about taking antibiotics.
Medication for Valvular Heart Disease
We may prescribe certain medications to relieve your symptoms and prevent further damage. Medications include:
- Diuretics to remove extra fluid from your body
- Antiarrhythmic medications to control abnormal heart rhythms
- Vasodilators to encourage blood flow forward rather than backward
- ACE inhibitors, a type of vasodilator that treats high blood pressure and heart failure
- Beta blockers to reduce the stress on the heart by helping it beat slower
- Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, to reduce the risk of developing blood clots on your heart valve
Surgery for Valvular Heart Disease
Depending on the exact diagnosis, we may recommend heart valve repair or replacement. At Fletcher Allen, we refer patients for mitral valve repair surgery rather than valve replacement surgery. A repair is a less invasive procedure and is sometimes even preferable to replacement. We continue to monitor you after surgery to ensure that your valves are functioning properly.
Find a Fletcher Allen physician or call us at 802-847-4600.