If you struggle with shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness or leg swelling, you may have heart valve disease. It’s a disease that causes one or more heart valves to work improperly. Unfortunately, sometimes a person experiences no symptoms at all.
With heart month just a few weeks away, January is a great time to ask yourself about your health and ask: Have I ever experienced any of these symptoms and, if so, what should I do? To find any heart condition early, particularly heart valve disease, is an opportunity to fix it and significantly improve a person’s life expectancy, rather than waiting for symptoms of heart failure to surface.
It’s a popular option to treat heart valve disease, says Dr. Philip Faraci, a Visalia cardiac surgeon, on staff at Kaweah Delta Medical Center.
“We can avoid breaking bone to get to the heart and make smaller incisions that allow a person to heal more quickly and comfortably,” said Faraci.
Instead of an 8- to 10-inch incision, a surgeon performing minimally-invasive heart valve surgery can use incisions half that size to replace or repair malfunctioning valves or restore normal function to a person’s heart, Faraci said. Smaller incisions result in less bleeding, helping patients get up and about sooner, out of the hospital and home more quickly. Ultimately, the surgery can help preserve the function of heart muscle and result in improved quality of life, prolonged life, and reduced symptoms.
“This is a huge opportunity for this community,” Faraci said.
The “Wellness & You: Heart Valve Disease” seminar will be held February 11, from 5:30-6:30PM at the Kaweah Delta Multiservice Center, 402 W. Acequia Ave, Visalia.