Washington Hospital Center is the only place to go for heart surgery. Schedule an appointment or second opinion with one of our top surgeons or call 202-877-DOCS. Or order a free information kit about our cardiac surgery program
The sound of your heart beating is the sound of the closure of your heart valves. When there is a problem with a valve (stenosis or regurgitation), the blood flow across the valves becomes turbulent. This causes a sound which is heard as a “murmur” during an examination. Your doctor can usually hear the murmur while listening to your heartbeat using a stethoscope.
There are two types of heart murmurs:
Your doctor will listen carefully to your murmur to decide if it needs further investigation. Murmurs can also be caused by other heart conditions besides valve problems. It is a good idea to find out why you have a heart murmur. A series of diagnostic tests can tell if it is okay or if you need medication or another treatment for your heart. Your doctor may refer you to a cardiologist, who may order:
If your murmur does not indicate a serious problem with your heart, then your physician will probably choose to continue to monitor your heart murmur over time. However, if your murmur is a sign of a more serious issue with one of your heart valves, your physician may recommend:
Your cardiologist will refer you to a cardiac surgeon to repair or replace your heart valve. Your cardiac surgeon will recommend one of the following surgeries, depending on your symptoms and the best probable outcome:
1. Heart valve repair—this is preferable if possible, as your own tissue is better than replacing a heart valve. This is most commonly performed in cases of mitral valve regurgitation (leakage) but may be possible in other situations as well.
3. Options currently In Clinical Trial:
The good news is that the cardiologists at Washington Heart and Vascular Services have the expertise and experience to tell what your heart murmur means. The vast majority of patients with heart murmurs do not need surgery. If you do, you should know you are in very good hands. We have the largest number of cardiac surgeons in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and offer the best options for you. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has recently developed a comprehensive rating system that allows for comparisons regarding the quality of cardiac surgery among hospitals across the country. Approximately 15 percent of hospitals receive the “3-star” rating, which denotes the highest category of quality. In the current analysis of national data, the cardiac surgery performance our hospital was found to lie in the highest quality tier, thereby receiving an STS 3-star rating.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the only place to go for heart surgery. Schedule an appointment or second opinion with one of our top surgeons or call 202-877-DOCS. Or order a free information kit about our cardiac surgery program