Problem: Heart Valve Stenosis

Updated:Mar 14,2014
1 What's the problem?orange stethescope

Illustration of heart valve stenosis

About Valve Stenosis
Stenosis is the term for a valve that doesn’t open properly. The flaps of a valve thicken, stiffen, or fuse together. As a result, the valve cannot fully open. Thus, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the valve, and the body may suffer from a reduced supply of oxygen.

bicuspid valves may restrict blood flowCauses of Valve Stenosis
Stenosis can be caused by age or by a malformed valve called a bicuspid valve. Up to two percent of the population is born with a bicuspid valve abnormality which means that instead of having three flaps that open for blood flow, two are fused together. This causes blood to pass through a smaller, restricted opening.

Learn about the different types of stenosis:

Outlook for People with Valve Stenosis
Many valve conditions are very treatable and even curable with surgery. However, surgery also has risks that should be evaluated with your healthcare provider. In addition, it’s important to weigh your options carefully; advanced valve problems that remain untreated can be very dangerous and life-threatening. 

Many people with valve problems that were at one time very serious and life-threatening have been treated and are now living full and healthy lives.

This content was last reviewed on 02/18/13.

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