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What are some treatment options for a leaking heart valve?

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Quick Answer

Not all leaky heart valves require treatment, but medication and surgery can be treatment options for those that do. Doctors usually recommend surgery for severely leaking aortic heart valves and degenerating mitral heart valves, as well as occasionally for leaky tricuspid values that cause problems, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

The heart has four valves: the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the pulmonic valve and the tricuspid valve. All of these valves can become leaky, according to WebMD. A leaking heart valve allows blood to flow back through the valve after the heart contracts to push blood around the body. Often, this causes no symptoms and doesn't require treatment, but sometimes, patients experience symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath and fluid retention.

Some people who have severely leaking aortic heart valves benefit from taking blood pressure medications known as vasodilators, according to WebMD. Alternatively, a surgeon can replace or repair the leaking valve.

Medication is rarely helpful for patients with a leaking mitral valve. Instead, a surgeon can repair or replace the valve if the leaking becomes severe. Leaky mitral and aortic heart valves require regular observation, as they can become more severe over time. Surgeons don't usually recommend surgical repair for leaking tricuspid valves, which rarely cause problems.

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