I've just been diagnosed with heart valve disease. Will I need heart surgery soon?

After a heart valve disease diagnosis, it's possible you might need surgery right away, but you might not need surgery for years. For some people, heart surgery is needed right away to repair or replace a heart valve, such as a mitral, tricuspid, pulmonary or aortic valve. Others can manage a long time with a healthy lifestyle and regular monitoring. The treatment you'll need depends on the type of heart valve disease you have, the severity of your symptoms, and your age and overall health.

If you do need surgery, you might be a candidate for less invasive procedures that can speed recovery and time in the hospital. For example, doctors may replace or repair a valve using long, thin tubes threaded through blood vessels in your arm or groin to your heart. Or surgeons may do a procedure using tools inserted through small cuts in the chest. But some people may need to have open-heart surgery.

Not everyone who's diagnosed with heart valve disease will need surgery right away. If you're concerned or have questions about your treatment options, talk with your doctor.


Rekha Mankad, M.D.

Jan. 14, 2020 See more Expert Answers