With a small leak it is common for no symptoms to show. However, once a leak becomes significant, a shortness of breath, fatigue, heart flutter, heart murmur or atrial fibrillation will be experienced. In a serious leak this may lead to heart failure.
Once a paravalvular leak is suspected, your cardiologist will recommend an echocardiogram (TTE). However, PVLs are difficult to detect and therefore a transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) may be used to provide a much clearer image of your heart and the location of any leak. In addition, a CT or MRI scan may also be used to determine the location of the leak.
Your cardiologist may just suggest monitoring the leak. Should it get worse and symptoms develop it can be closed with re-do surgery or through minimal invasive techniques.
An ‘echo’ is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]
These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]
This minimally invasive procedure closes a paravalvular leak. [READ MORE]
Sometimes an ‘echo’ scan of the heart requires an ultrasound probe to be passed down the food pipe to provide a clearer image. [READ MORE]