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Does A Heart Valve Heal Itself?

Posted by Adam Pick on April 22nd, 2009

Kenny writes to me, “Hi Adam – My grandma needs open heart surgery, according to my parents. They tell me she has mitral regurgitation and it’s really bad. I’m curious to know, “Can a heart valve heal itself?”. What do you think? Kenny”

I really wish a simple and emphatic ‘Yes!’ would answer Kenny’s question. It would be sooooooooo incredibly wonderful if a heart valve could heal itself – like a cold or a broken bone.

Diagram Of Side Picture Of Heart And Top View Of Heart Valves

Unfortunately, heart valves do not tend to heal themselves. It is true that some infants born with heart murmurs will eventually grow out of the murmur as the heart matures. But, in all of my research, I have yet to hear, read or see a patient story in which a valvular disorder (e.g. aortic valve stenosis, aortic regurgitation, mitral valve regurgitation) naturally heals by itself.

Some might suggest that the use of stem cells could offer a natural process in which a human heart valve can heal itself. However, from my research, that would require a stem cell valve cloning and an open heart procedure to replace the valve. In my opinion, that process doesn’t really sound like a situation in which a human heart valve heals itself.

I hope this helps Kenny (and perhaps you) learn more about the question, “Does a heart valve heal itself?”

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.

 


Terry Riste says on April 24th, 2009 at 7:33 am

Dear Adam,

In response to the question regarding whether or not heatl valves can heal themsselves, I have a good story. I was diagnosed with a biscuspid aortic valve several years ago. Last summer I was told that my regurgitation fell into the moderate to severe range. I recently had a floow up Echo and it shows mild to moderate regurgitation. My doctor feels that a combo of medications and a weight loss of 35 pounds could have contributed to this. I was under the impression that this condition would not improve.

Thanks,

Terry Riste

 


Gary Jenkins says on May 13th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

My wife has had a heart murmur most of her life. About four years ago a cardiologist done an echo on her and said she had moderate valve leakage, although he tried to play it down after finding out she didn’t have insurance. She can’t buy health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. She also was a stay at home Mom so she can’t can’t get any kind of assistance. Recently the doctor ran another echo and later sent us a letter stating that she had been miraculously healed. In my mind, the doctor didn’t want to treat her because she didn’t have insurance, and therefore told her she no longer had the leaking valves in her heart. The only people that can receive quality health care these days are the ones who have good insurance, politicians, Doctors, and Lawyers. If a Doctor ever tells me that they care whether or not my wife dies, I will call him a liar to his face!

 


Janis says on July 5th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

My husbands Dr. said he has infective endocartitis. He was told it is from his own bacteria in the colon. It entered his blood stream some how?
How long does it take a heart valve to ruin its self? A month, a year or years?
Thanks

 


Sandeep says on October 31st, 2012 at 1:45 am

Below is the 2D echo report of my mother, she is 64 and does not have suger or Blood Pressure problem. I would like to know if she has leaky heart valves. Her doctor said to install a pacemaker, but also said that may or may not benefit her. Please let me know your opinion.

2D/3D Echo with Doppler
2 D ECHO
• Dimensions LV : Dilated
RV : Dilated
RA : Dilated
LA : Dilated

• LVEF: 15%

• Severe LV systolic dysfunction

• Severe global hypokinesia

• Aortic sclerosis

• Other cardiac valves are structurally normal

• No clot/vegetation/effusion.

DOPPLER

• Diastolic dysfunction: Grade II
• Pulmonary artery systolic pressure: 40 mmHg.
• Moderate to severe MR, Mild AR, Severe TR, No PR.

IMPRESSION

• Dilated cardiomyopathy
• Moderate to severe mitral regurgitation
• Mild aortic regurgitation
• Severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction
• Mild pulmonary hypertension

2D ECHO ASSESSEMENT FOR VENTRICULAR DYSSYNCHRONY
• There is no evidence of inter ventricular dyssynchrony (LVPEP is 96 ms).
• TSI assessment shows:
• The septal to posterior wall delay is 149 ms.
• The septal to lateral wall delay is 59 ms.
• There is evidence of intraventricular dyssynchrony.

 


Nathan cox says on August 4th, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Hello. I really don’t know if anyone will read this but I’m saying it for that 2% of people that will. My name is Nathan and I’m from Mississippi, USA. I am 16 and when I was 2 I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. I had open heart surgery and later on doctors told me I had an aortic leak which I have discovered to be aortic valve regurgitation. I honestly don’t understand fully what the doctors say but in lamen terms they said my body is healing itself. I don’t know if I should believe them or not. But fact of the matter is at the moment I truly believe your body can heal itself in this case. Maybe not completely but you can show improvement.

 

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