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Patient Education

Heart Health Library

Our Health Library does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their heart health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Heart valve disease

Heart valve disease occurs when a heart valve is damaged or narrowed and does not control or allow the normal flow of blood through and out of the heart. Causes of heart valve disease include congenital heart disease, an abnormal valve, or a rupture of a valve.

Heart valves operate like one-way gates, helping blood flow in one direction between heart chambers as well as into and out of the heart. A normal heart valve has flaps, called leaflets. When the heart pumps, the leaflets open one way to allow blood to flow through. Between heartbeats, the leaflets should close to form a tight seal so that blood does not leak backwards through the valve.

If the heart valve is damaged, the leaflets may not form a tight seal, and blood may leak backwards through the valve. This leakage is called regurgitation.

Heart valves can also become narrowed, which may block the flow of blood through the heart. This narrowing is called stenosis.

Heart Topics

Browse our library of medical conditions and treatments

Heart Topics | Heart and Circulation | Heart Conditions

Symptom Checker

A body map to help you find and learn more about your symptoms.

Symptom Checker

Medical Tests

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Medical Tests

Medications

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Medications

Healthy Lifestyles

Tips on how to stay healthy

Healthy Eating | Weight

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