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Paravalvular Leak

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.

Signs & Symptoms

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:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling in the legs and feet

In some cases, a patient will experience hemolytic anemia, which requires frequent blood transfusions.


Echocardiography is used to diagnoses a paravalvular leak.