Diagnosis of heart valve disease and its severity requires a series of clinical and objective evaluations.
Once these evaluations are complete, treatment recommendations are made to alleviate the disease.
Symptoms are complaints that patients report to doctors.
Some patients with severe heart valve disease may have symptoms; others may not.
Common symptoms that generally indicate serious heart valve disease include:
Signs are abnormalities detected by a doctor during a physical examination.
Signs can indicate the severity of disease and modify conclusions based on symptoms alone.
Clinical and Objective Evaluations
Patients with known or suspected heart valve disease are usually referred to the Institute by either their primary care physician or cardiologist. When treating these patients, Institute staff contacts and regularly consults with the referring doctor.
Some patients make appointments directly.
The diagnostic process is simple, yet complex: