Should I see a cardiologist if I have leaking valves?

Lioneyouki78 asked...

Should I see a cardiologist if I have multiple leaking heart valves?

I have leaking valves in my heart (mild-pulmonary, trace-tricuspid, & mild-mitral). My symptoms are ongoing chest pain, swelling of legs-ankles-feet, shortness of breath and numbness and tingles going down my left arm to my hand and fingers. My MD prescribed medication for GERD and Asthma, but said he didn't believe my leaking valves were anything to be alarmed about. My question is, if the medication isn't helping with the pain and shortness of breath, should I seek further medical attention from a specialist?

Expert Answer

Carolyn Strimike, N.P. and Margie Latrella, N.P. are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They have over 40 years of nursing experience in Cardiology between them. The main goal of their work is to counsel, motivate and empower women to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.

You describe your "leaking heart valves" as mild pulmonary, trace tricupsid and mild mitral leaking - these are very common findings in women and usually do not lead to symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath and leg/ankle swelling (but everyone is different). We are assuming these were the findings from the Echo (echocardiogram) - if not we would first recommend that you have an Echo done. The symptoms you describe may be related to the heart valve leakages, but have you had a stress test performed? We would recommend having a stress test. Yes you should see a heart specialist (cardiologist). If you are experiencing symptoms it is always best to make sure it is not a heart problem, rule that out first. Whenever you are experiencing symptoms your body is telling you "something" is not right and you need to rule out a heart problem first. If your heart tests are okay then you need to find out what is causing the problems. Women frequently do not present with typical symptoms so we would recommend you seek further testing with a specialist.