Open Heart Surgery Video (Live Heart Beating) | India Video

Open Heart Surgery Video (Live Heart Beating) | India Video

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2 Symptoms of a Leaking Heart Valve | Heart Disease

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So, before we talk about what the symptoms are for a leaky heart valve, let's talk a little bit about what the heart valves are, and what their function is in the heart. The heart valves are doors in the heart that are supposed to open widely and let blood flow in one direction of the heart, and then close tightly, without letting any back flow, or regurgitation, what we call leakiness in the heart.

Leaky heart valves are not uncommon. They can be caused by several things. Some are deteriorations over time, and people with heart valves that were abnormal from birth, and others are things that are picked up along the way, like infections that can attack the heart valve, or a buildup of atherosclerosis that can cause calcification, or thickening of those heart valves.

There are four main valves in the heart. For the most part, symptoms usually come when one of the two left-sided heart valves have a problem. Your doctor is usually able to pick this up when they listen to your heart with a stethoscope and hear what we call a murmur, or abnormal heart sound. Once your doctor identifies the murmur, he or she will send you for further imaging. Most often, we use cardiac ultrasound to take a good picture of the heart and see how the valves are functioning. We have waves on the cardiac ultrasound to tell us the heart valves are too leaky or too stiff and whether or not they're functioning well overall.

When valves don't function properly, they can do one of two things. They can either be pretty tight, or stenotic, or leaky, or regurgitant. Either one can lead to some symptoms. Those symptoms would be shortness of breath when you exert yourself, or lower extremity swelling, or edema. Usually, they come on pretty gradually and you would notice an increase of symptoms over time such as the lack of ability to walk up a flight or two of stairs, something you might have been able to do just a few months or a year before. The other thing would be increased swelling in the legs. And you might notice at the end of a long day that your legs are more swollen than they used to be. These are the two main signs of a leaky or tight heart valve.

For the most part, leaky heart valves show up as an inability to exert yourself, shortness of breath, or swelling of your feet or legs. The main heart valves which can be leaky would be the left-sided heart valves, which we call the aortic valve or the mitral valve. And that's what you really need to know about a leaky heart valve.

4 Symptoms of Heart Disease | Heart Disease

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So what are some of the symptoms of heart disease that we can look out for? Some of them are pretty basic. They would be chest pressure or pain, shortness of breath, lower extremity edema, or palpitations. If we talk a little bit about each one, chest pain can sometimes be confusing. When doctors reference pain, we're not always talking about a sharp discomfort in the chest. As a matter of fact, sometimes pressure or discomfort in the chest, would be more concerning. In terms of shortness of breath, it could be either shortness of breath at rest, or when you try to exert yourself, such as going up a flight or two of stairs.

The lower extremity swelling is something we call edema, and you'll notice that usually at the end of the day. A good way to test it is just by pinching the ankle and seeing if your pinch leaves a dent in the skin. And the palpitations, that's a tough one to describe, but usually it means an awareness or funny sensation of the heart that can be either irregular or fast. If you have any of these symptoms, the best thing to do would of course be to speak with your doctor, because although sometimes this can be a sign of heart disease, obviously a lot of other things could also cause these kinds of symptoms.

Signs You’re Having a Heart Attack | Heart Disease

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How can someone know if they're having a heart attack? Well, that can be tricky. Firstly, a heart attack can classically present as chest discomfort or pain or pressure in the chest. It's usually squeezing and dull in nature and may be associated with sweatiness. The symptoms may stay in the chest wall, or travel or radiate to the neck, arm, or left jaw.

If you feel like you're having any of those kinds of symptoms, it's important to call your doctor right away, or 911 if you can't reach your doctor. The symptoms of a heart attack, unfortunately, are not always classic and some people have vague discomforts in the chest or trouble breathing. Not everyone who's having a heart attack shows up the same way.

We've learned that not everyone has the same symptoms. Women for example may have different symptoms than men and may not have the classic chest discomfort.

Another group of people that may have different symptoms are diabetics or patients with diabetes. They may not have symptoms at all. And sometimes it can be very challenging to know if they are having a heart attack.

During a heart attack, time is very important to help save heart muscle and save lives. If you feel you may be having some symptoms associated with a heart attack, it's important that you seek medical attention right away.