Your heart’s job is to supply oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your body. It does that by pumping blood through four heart chambers with the help of four heart valves that open and close with every heartbeat.
Some causes of severe aortic stenosis include:
Symptoms of severe aortic stenosis include, but may not be limited, to:
In a healthy aortic valve, three thin leaflets open and close properly.
In a diseased (stenotic) valve, the leaflets become stiff and thickened, limiting the amount of blood pumped out to the body.
Your heart team (a specialized care team that includes interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists, anesthesiologists, and other doctors as needed) will decide which of the following treatment options is best for you:
Certain medications may ease some of your symptoms.
A tiny balloon is inflated in the aortic valve to try and improve blood flow, but this treatment typically provides only temporary relief.
Open-heart surgery is done to remove the damaged valve and replace it with an artificial valve. Patients usually need to stay in the hospital for a week or more, before beginning a longer period of recovery.
Learn more about surgical heart valve repair.
TAVR is less invasive than open-heart surgery. Your doctor will make a small incision on your body. After the incision is made, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into an artery to guide the artificial heart valve up to your heart to replace the diseased valve.
Learn more about the TAVR procedure.
Your heart team will conduct tests that will help you and the team discuss the best treatment option. These tests will tell your doctor:
Common tests performed may include: