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Heart Valve Repair and Replacement Can Be Life Changing

Heart Valve Repair and Replacement Can Be Life Changing

More than 5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disorders, also called valvular heart disease, each year. Diseases of the heart valves take many forms, but in every case, it means one or more of the heart valves are not working properly. When not treated, valvular disease can result in arrhythmias, stroke or death. While some conditions can be managed with lifestyle changes or medications, others may need to be addressed with minimally invasive procedures or surgery. A local Washington Township Medical Foundation (WTMF) physician will share his expertise on treating valvular heart disease with the community in a free upcoming online seminar.

Interventional cardiologist Harsh Agrawal, MD, will present “Heart Valve Disorders in Adults: Types and Treatments,” on Wednesday, July 24, at 9 a.m. Watch this seminar to learn about the various types of heart valve conditions, how they affect cardiovascular health, and available treatment options. To watch this presentation on Facebook, sign in to your account, then go to Or you can watch it without an account at If you cannot watch it live, the seminar will be available beginning the next day on YouTube.

Heart Valve Diseases and Treatments

Valvular disease can affect any of the heart’s four valves, called the aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid valves. One of the more common valve conditions is aortic stenosis, where the valve thickens and narrows so it can’t open fully, limiting blood flow to the body. Over time, this extra stress on the heart leads to thickened heart walls and may cause symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and fainting. Another common valvular disorder is mitral regurgitation, where the valve doesn’t close completely so blood leaks backward into the chamber instead of forward. Because blood is not being pumped as it should, this can lead to heart palpitations, shortness of breath, swelling of the feet or ankles, and fluid in the lungs.

When valvular heart disease is severe and cannot be managed with blood-thinning medications or through lifestyle changes (like eating healthy, quitting smoking and exercising regularly), a procedure or surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the faulty valve. In the past, many heart valve surgical candidates had to undergo traditional open-heart surgeries, but now minimally invasive procedures can often address the problem. Catheter-based heart valve repair and replacement provides a nonsurgical option, where an interventional cardiologist inserts a thin flexible tube into a blood vessel in the arm or groin. This catheter is then advanced to the heart and used to repair or replace the heart valve.

Along with a multidisciplinary cardiology team, Dr. Agrawal performs these advanced minimally invasive procedures at Washington Hospital in Fremont, which include transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and complex coronary interventions (CCI) or stenting of blocked arteries.

“Minimally invasive heart valve procedures require small incisions to access the heart, unlike open-heart surgery,” explained Dr. Agrawal. “These techniques typically result in less pain, less blood loss and a reduced chance of infection for patients. Generally, this means a much shorter hospital stay and recuperation time,” he continued.

Dr. Agrawal is an acclaimed interventional cardiologist who has published numerous clinical cardiology research papers. He holds an impressive eight American board certifications including internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, interventional cardiology, endovascular interventions, echocardiography, cardiac CT, nuclear cardiology and vascular ultrasound. “Reminiscent of the dedicated and hardworking nature of the doctors in my family, I have an insatiable desire to excel in cardiac patient care,” he said. “For me, there is no greater privilege than to learn from and help individuals in need of medical care.”

If you or someone you know has symptoms of heart valve disease, consult with your primary care physician. You may be referred to a cardiologist for testing. Also, be sure to watch Dr. Agrawal’s July 24 presentation for more information. To learn more about Dr. Agrawal, go to