Heart valve disease patient talking with his doctor.

Heart valve disease


Use our guide to talk to a doctor today.

Speak with your doctor

Heart valve disease is a progressive disease and some people may not feel any symptoms right away. The symptoms of heart valve disease can be so subtle that they can be easy to mistake as just a part of getting older. The only way to screen for heart valve disease is with an echocardiogram (echo).

An echo is a simple ultrasound of the heart that can help your doctor determine if you have heart valve disease and how far it has progressed. There is no way to prevent heart valve disease, but by detecting it early with an echo, you can be prepared for when it becomes heart valve failure.

Schedule an appointment

If you think you might have heart valve disease, don’t wait for your annual checkup. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. The longer you wait, the worse heart valve disease can get.

Guide the conversation

There can be a lot to go over when talking about heart valve disease with your doctor. Our guide can help you make the most of your appointment.

Ask for an echo

Ask your doctor for an echocardiogram during your next appointment. It takes as little as 20 minutes and it’s one of the most accurate ways to see if you have heart valve disease.

Know for sure with a diagnostic echocardiogram

An echocardiogram (echo) is a noninvasive test that uses ultrasound to get a picture of your heart. An echo looks at the structure of your heart and checks how well it functions.
An echo provides information about:

  • The size and shape of your heart
  • The size, thickness, and movement of your heart’s walls
  • How your heart moves
  • Your heart’s pumping strength
  • Whether your heart valves are working correctly
  • Whether blood is leaking backward through your heart valves (regurgitation)
  • Whether the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis)
  • Whether there is a tumor or other abnormalities around your heart valves

Heart valve disease is a critical health issue that gets worse over time. By understanding the risk factors and symptoms associated with heart valve disease, you can take the necessary steps to stay on top of your heart health. If you are concerned about your heart health, the first step is getting an echocardiogram. It’s the best way to know if you’re at risk, especially if you are over the age of 65.

Find a doctor to screen for heart valve disease

Even if you don’t have symptoms, getting an echo every year is a good way to keep an eye on your heart. Your doctor will evaluate the condition of your heart, and based on the echo, will determine if treatment is necessary. Use this Healthgrades® tool to find a doctor in your local area who can screen your heart for heart valve disease.

Edwards Lifesciences does not endorse or recommend any particular physician and search results do not include a comprehensive list of doctors in your area.

See how an echocardiogram
helped these patients

Casey’s Story

Casey loves playing with her grandkids, but she had to reach out to her cardiologist after noticing she was short of breath and had palpitations after lying down.

Keenan’s Story

Symptoms of heart valve disease are often subtle and may go unnoticed. Keenan didn’t think his symptoms were serious until after he was diagnosed and realized the impact heart valve disease could have on his family and community.

Dan & Marsha’s Story

Dan and Marsha had been dancing together for years. When she noticed he started getting tired and short of breath, she knew it was time to see her doctor.

Pete & Lillee’s Story

Left untreated, heart valve disease can get worse over time. Pete kept brushing off his symptoms until his wife, Lillee, had to rush him to the hospital when he fell sick.

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Already diagnosed? Understand your treatment options.