Your heart valves are doorways that open and close to let blood move between the chambers of your heart. Problems with your heart valves can mean that blood doesn't flow through your heart and to your body the way it should. This can keep you from feeling your best. Fortunately, valve surgery may help fix a heart valve problem so your heart can work better.
How You Might Feel
If you have heart valve trouble, you may have experienced one or more of the following:
- shortness of breath - when doing normal daily activities or lying down flat in bed. You may need to sleep propped up on a few pillows to breathe easier
- palpitations - feels like skipped beats or a flip-flop feeling in your chest
- weakness or dizziness - feels like passing out
- quick weight gain - three pounds in one day is possible
- edema - swelling in your ankles, feet or abdomen
- chest discomfort - a pain or pressure lasting a few seconds or for a few hours
Symptoms can occur quickly if your valve disease is severe and comes on suddenly. If your disease develops slowly and your heart has time to adjust, you may barely notice your symptoms. The exception is mitral valve prolapse (MVP), where symptoms are common, but may not reflect the severity of your valve disease.