Former BHVS President John Chambers has published a book for patients with heart valve disease, providing accurate, trustworthy & contemporary information for patients.
Heart Valve Disease – A guide for patients
by Professor John Chambers
- If you want to be involved in decisions about your medical care you need information.
- Most people turn first to the web but unfortunately the information there is often scant and unreliable. This book was written to fill that gap.
Why is this book needed?
If you want to be involved in decisions about your medical care you need information.
Most people turn first to the web but unfortunately the information there is often scant and unreliable. This book was written to fill that gap.
The first part discusses general themes like what symptoms to expect or what tests you might need. It explains what happens during observation in the outpatient clinic and gives general guidance on self-care. It describes when surgery might become necessary and what types of surgery are available. It gives practical advice about preparing for surgery and helping to recover afterwards.
The second part describes specific types of valve disease in as much detail as is necessary for you to understand the causes and symptoms of each valve disease, how they may progress, and what treatments are available.
This book will appeal to all patients with newly diagnosed valve disease, those who are being seen in an outpatient clinic, or have been referred for surgery or have already had surgery. It will be useful for friends, partners and relatives who want to advise or help patients. It may also offer a different slant on valve disease to help GPs, nurses, cardiologists, physiologist/scientists, pharmacists or surgeons who look after people with valve disease.
About the author
John Chambers is Professor of Clinical Cardiology and Consultant Cardiologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London. He has a career-long interest in heart valve disease, including research into the assessment of disease, the timing of surgery, and comparisons of different types of replacement valve. He has chaired or been a member of national and international committees setting standards for individuals and departments involved in care. He has also helped design new ways of organising the care of valve disease, including the specialist heart valve clinic which is now seen as ‘best practice’.
Click on the Chapters below for more information on the contents
Chapter 1: How heart valves work
Chapter 2: What is valve disease?
Chapter 3: What are the symptoms?
Chapter 4: What tests may be done?
Chapter 5: Outpatient care
Chapter 6: What types of surgery are there?
Chapter 7: Preparing for surgery
Chapter 8: Long-term care after surgery
Chapter 9: ‘Patient power’ – the informed and engaged patient
Chapter 10: How is care for valve disease organised?
Chapter 11: Aortic stenosis
Chapter 12: Aortic regurgitation
Chapter 13: Mitral regurgitation
Chapter 14: Mitral stenosis
Chapter 15: Tricuspid valve disease
Chapter 16: Pulmonary valve disease
Chapter 17: Mitral prolapse
Chapter 18: Bicuspid aortic valve
Chapter 19: Infective endocarditis
Chapter 20: Valve disease and pregnancy
Chapter 21: Valve disease and COVID-19
Glossary of medical terms, references
References and further reading
‘A must-read for everyone, because heart valve disease could be the next epidemic’
Pat Khan, one of a group of patients who provided feedback prior to publishing, reviews Heart Valve Disease: A Guide For Patients.
This authoritative guide to heart valve disease couldn’t have come at a better time. COVID-19’s catastrophic impact on the NHS leaves over four million people waiting to start hospital treatment. And according to some experts, heart valve disease is an epidemic just waiting to wreak similar havoc.
There is no vaccine or pill for it and it’s not due to lifestyle. Misdiagnosed, ignored, or simply not heard of, it can be as fatal as some cancers. And because it affects mostly the over 60’s - an ever-increasing, longer-living population – it could overwhelm the NHS.
The good news is that if diagnosed early, it’s usually easily treatable. And Professor Chambers, pioneer of the ‘gold standard’ specialist heart valve clinic model, has written probably the most comprehensive layman’s guide on valve dysfunction (it’s not a disease as such and it’s not infectious) to raise awareness of this danger.
Heart valve disease crept up on me ‘out of the blue’ with sudden, violent palpitations. The weeks leading up to diagnosis were frightening. Surgery, probably open heart - I was truly stunned. Fortunately, my GP sent me to a specialist clinic dedicated to making heart valve disease – in all its forms – as easy for patients to grasp and manage as possible. From the first appointment I felt fully reassured and in safe hands – which is precisely the effect of this book. It’s as good as access to a specialist clinic, 24/7.
It’s authoritative, yet eminently readable; everything you might need to know presented with lively pick-me-up, read-me-now appeal. Indexed, so you can get straight to your burning concern and explained clearly in type that’s easy on the eye, with simple illustrations in bold colours.
This handy book should be the go-to resource for information about heart valve disease, available in every public library, doctor’s surgery and dentist’s waiting room. My GP, Dr James Edwards, put it straight onto the shelf next to his desk. “This will be my reference guide,” he said, “whenever a patient needs extra expert guidance.” Voluntary organisations offering pre and post op support to patients will find it invaluable, too.
The book is endorsed by the British Heart Valve Society, the organisation which exclusively supports thorough training in heart valve disease and champions the creation of ‘gold standard’ valve clinics both in the community and in hospitals (and of which John Chambers is a founder member), so its credentials could not be sounder.
‘Advice around echo interpretation particularly pertinent for GPs’
Review of Heart Valve Disease: A Guide For Patients.
Sally Henniker-Major is one of a group of patients who provided feedback on the book’s content prior to publishing.
This attractive, colourful and very readable book is well laid out to answer any questions a patient may have about their own heart condition and explains in layman’s terms investigations, procedures and follow-up care. I found it easy to dip into and glean as much information as I could take in at one time, as well as giving a very comprehensive overview of heart valve disease in its several forms.
The book is divided into two sections: the first explains, with illustrations for those with a need for visual understanding, just how the heart works and how heart disease may be found; the symptoms, tests and the surgery which can help.
The second part deals with specific conditions in the different heart valves and clearly explains the terms which any heart patient may hear and not necessarily understand. There are questions to ask on visits to the cardiologist, and straightforward questions and answers about causes, symptoms, and the treatments available. It is eminently up to date, having a section on Covid 19 and any implications this may have with heart valve disease.
Although Professor Chambers claims this is a ‘Guide for patients’ it has also proved to be a timely reminder for GPs too. I lent my copy to a GP friend, currently in practice, who found it ‘very well written and informative’. She went on to say that the advice around echo interpretation was particularly pertinent for GPs. ‘The comparison between trivial valve ’disease’ and greying hair is one I suspect I may be using’ she told me.
Having had the experience of mitral valve repair myself, I found the follow up sections very helpful and above all reassuring, helped along by the colourful illustrations and summary boxes as well as the links to organisations which can provide help and further information. It could also become a very useful source of information for families and carers of heart valve patients. I was fortunate that my surgeon explained the problem with my valve very well and the nurses who followed up my care in rehabilitation were very reassuring, but to have such a book as this to refer to is invaluable.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a diagnosis of heart valve disease and wants to understand more.