A paravalvular leak occurs in a small number of patients who have had valve replacement surgery. The leak happens in the space between the patient’s heart tissue and the valve replacement.
A Deborah physician may suspect a paravalvular leak if a patient has had heart valve replacement surgery and also has symptoms of heart failure. Symptoms include:
In some cases, a patient will experience hemolytic anemia, which requires frequent blood transfusions.
Echocardiography is used to diagnoses a paravalvular leak.