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Aortic valve stenosis: Test, treatments and prevention

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Complications of aortic valve stenosis

Any of the risk factors can cause the heart to weaken. The left ventricle has to pump harder to get the blood through. The left ventricle will stiffen and get bigger and in time your heart becomes weaker.

If the situation is not corrected, you may have chest pain which is known as angina, fainting, heart failure, cardiac arrest, or Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-stenosis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20026329

Tests for aortic valve stenosis

One of the first things a physician does in a routine examination is to check your heart using a stethoscope. The doctor is checking for an irregular heartbeat. One of the possible signs for stenosis of the aortiv valve is a heart murmur.

At this point your doctor may send you for several tests including:

Electrocardiogram (ECG) -

The doctor measure the electrical impulses given off by the heart.

Chest Xray -

May be done to see if the left ventricle is enlarged.

Echocardiogram -

This test measure the sound waves of your heart and produces an image so the doctor may see the aortic valve.

Cardiac catheterization -

Cardiac catheterization is performed if the other tests have not properly diagnosed the aortic valve stenosis. A thin tube is entered into the the artery and some dye may be injected so that the doctor can see the extent of blockage and if there is anything else blocking the artery as well.

After the tests are completed the doctor will decide whether simply monitoring the condition and/or if treatment is necessary.

Treatments

Though some medications may help the only real treatment to eradicate the stenosis is aortic valve repair or replacement.

The surgery may not be necessary if the condition is mild to moderate and you are not experiencing any symptoms. Some people may never get any symptoms.

Some medications can help regulate your heart rhythm and control cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Types of surgery for aortic valve stenosis

Balloon valvuloplasty (valvotomy) -

A tube with a balloon is place into the artery to your heart and is then inflated to open up the aortic valve. It is then deflated once more and is taken out of the body. However, this procedure is used on children but rarely works on adults.

Aortic valve replacement -

This is the surgery of choice where the aortic valve is removed and a mechanical or tissue valve is inserted in its place.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) -

“Transcatheter aortic valve replacement — involves replacing the aortic valve with a prosthetic valve via the femoral artery in your leg (transfemoral) or the left ventricular apex of your heart (transapical). TAVR is usually reserved for individuals at increased risk of complications from aortic valve surgery. TAVR is sometimes referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).”

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aortic-stenosis/basics/treatment/con-20026329

Surgical valvuloplasty -

Maybe performed on children where the leaflets on the valve are opened when they were fused at birth.

After surgery you may still need some medication to prevent the narrowing once more and to prevent a heart attack.

After surgery you may also need to take antibiotics before dental or other types of surgery.

Prevention

Avoid rheumatic fever if you can, never let a strep throat go untreated.

Keep your weight down and your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control. Take care of your gums and your teeth. Do not do any strenuous activity. Consult with your doctor or cardiologist before you get pregnant if you already have aortic valve stenosis.

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