You may have experienced symptoms such as a heart murmur, anemia, or in more serious cases, heart failure, along with shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, or swelling in your feet or legs. The first step in treating your condition is to accurately identify the problem and rule out other conditions that could present similar symptoms. Once it is confirmed that you have a leaking heart valve, your paravalvular leak closure procedure will be scheduled.

What is the Procedure?

This treatment is usually performed with local anesthetic and intravenous sedation, though in some cases, it is performed under general anesthesia. In either case, you will not experience any discomfort or pain. Once the anesthesia has been administered, a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery or the vein located in your groin. The catheter is advanced through the blood vessel, guided by real-time imaging technology, until it reaches your heart. Once it arrives at the leaking valve, a closure device is placed to stop the leakage. The catheter is then delicately removed. In the recent past, these problems could only be resolved with open-heart surgery. This approach is far less invasive, safer, and has a faster recovery time.

Paravalvular Leaks: Who is At Risk?

If you have had the same heart valve replaced more than once, you are at higher risk of developing a leak. Other problems that could lead to a leak include being under treatment for endocarditis (an infection of the heart lining, valve, or blood vessel) or the development of calcification in the structural ring around the valve. Small leaks are not typically a problem for concern, but larger leaks must be corrected as soon as possible.

You may have developed several very uncomfortable or even life-threatening conditions due to the leak, and restoring your health is of primary concern. The location and size of the leak will usually be found with an echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart muscle along with a CT scan. Once the location is identified, the procedure can be scheduled.

Leaky Heart Valve Symptoms

If you have had a valve replaced in your heart and are suffering any of these symptoms, you must undergo testing to determine if the valve has begun to leak:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluttering heartbeat
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Swollen legs or feet
  • You are diagnosed with a heart murmur
  • Anemia

Why Choose San Diego Cardiac Center?

San Diego Cardiac Center has four decades serving patients and is at the forefront of advances and developments in cardiac care. We deliver a wide range of cardiac services, including transplant management. Our specialists at San Diego Cardiac Center offer top-level medical expertise, delivered with individual care and compassion.

Our cardiac specialists are regularly involved in clinical research, and we are known for being very progressive in adopting new therapies. We frequently deliver newer, more successful procedures long before they become available at any other clinic in the region. Our center is equipped with cutting-edge technology. Our heart doctors perform paravalvular leak repair with a minimally invasive approach, allowing for less risk, a good outcome, and a faster recovery.

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