Can A Leaky Heart Valve Cause Foot, Ankle, And Leg Swelling?


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Iris Phillips Profile
Iris Phillips answered
It is common for heart problems to lead to swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. Speak to your doctor if you are worried by the amount of swelling and they may also be able to recommend some exercises to reduce the swelling or some medication to make you more comfortable.
Heart valve disease occurs when the heart valves do not work the way they should. Your heart valves lie at the exit of each of your four heart chambers and maintain one-way blood flow through your heart. It sounds as though you suffer from ‘Valvular insufficiency’, also called regurgitation, incompetence, or 'leaky valve', this occurs when a valve does not close tightly. If the valves do not seal, some blood will leak backwards across the valve. As the leak worsens, the heart has to work harder to make up for the leaky valve, and less blood may flow to the rest of the body. Depending on which valve is affected, the condition is called tricuspid regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, mitral regurgitation or aortic regurgitation.
Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling and exercise intolerance. Backward failure of the right ventricle leads to congestion of systemic capillaries. This generates excess fluid accumulation in the body. This causes swelling under the skin (termed peripheral edema or anasarca) and usually affects the dependent parts of the body first (causing foot and ankle swelling in people who are standing up, and sacral edema in people who are predominantly lying down). Nocturia (frequent night time urination) may occur when fluid from the legs is returned to the bloodstream while lying down at night. In progressively severe cases, ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity causing swelling) and hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver) may develop.
Kathy Castillo Profile
Kathy Castillo answered
Yes. Any type of heart problem can cause swelling in the ankles, legs and feet. You should report the swelling to your Cardiologists because it could be an indication of a serious heart condition.

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