We offer these questions to help you speak comprehensively with your doctor about heart valve disease and good self care. Print them out and take them with you to your next appointment and have your caregiver take notes to help you remember your discussion when you get home.
About Your Overall Condition
- Why does my valve need to be replaced? Why don’t you repair it instead?
- What type of surgery is it safe for me to have with my valve disease?
- I would prefer less invasive treatment so I can be back on my feet more quickly. Why can’t I have TAVR instead of open-heart surgery?
- If I have valve replacement, should I get a mechanical valve or one made from animal tissue ?
- How can I expect to feel if my treatment is a success?
- Do I have to take medication? For how long?
- What will happen if I don’t receive treatment for my valve disease?
- If my valve problem is not serious, what do we need to do to monitor it over time?
- What symptoms should I watch for that may indicate that my valve disease is getting worse?
- What conditions or symptoms should trigger an immediate phone call to my doctor?
- If I have a valve problem, do I need to take antibiotics before I have my teeth cleaned?
- What can an echocardiogram tell us about my heart?
- What happens next if the echocardiogram reveals a potential problem?
About Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
- What can a transesophageal echocardiogram tell us about my heart?
- What are the possible benefits for me of TEE?
- Do I need to have an empty stomach before the procedure?
- Should I withhold any of my medications?
- Are there any medications that I will need to take?
- What happens next if TEE reveals a potential problem?
- What are my individual risks associated with having a TEE test?