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Aortic Stenosis

 

 

Aortic stenosis 

Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disorder characterized by the narrowing of the aortic valve, which is one of the four valves in the heart responsible for controlling blood flow. The aortic valve regulates the flow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart’s left ventricle to the aorta, which then carries blood to the rest of the body. When the aortic valve narrows, it can obstruct blood flow, leading to several health problems.

The most common cause of aortic stenosis is the gradual accumulation of calcium deposits on the valve leaflets, making them thick and rigid. This can result from aging, a congenital heart condition, or other medical issues.

The main symptoms of aortic stenosis may include:
1. Chest pain or discomfort
2. Shortness of breath
3. Fatigue
4. Fainting or lightheadedness

Without treatment, aortic stenosis can lead to more serious complications, including heart failure and even sudden cardiac death. The severity of aortic stenosis is typically categorized into three stages:
1. Mild: Mild aortic stenosis may not cause noticeable symptoms, but the valve is starting to narrow.
2. Moderate: At this stage, symptoms may begin to appear, and the narrowing of the valve is more pronounced.
3. Severe: Severe aortic stenosis is a critical condition that often requires prompt treatment. Symptoms are typically more pronounced at this stage.

Treatment options for aortic stenosis depend on the severity of the condition and the patient’s overall health. Common treatments include:
1. Medications can help manage symptoms and improve heart function, but they do not treat the valve narrowing itself.
2. Aortic valve replacement is the gold standard treatment for severe aortic stenosis. Dr.Nikhil says, “ There are 3 different ways to achieve this, so make sure you consult someone with experience in all 3 to give you an unbiased reccomendation”.

  • Open Surgery – The narrowed valve is surgically removed and replaced with a mechanical or biological valve.
  • Minimally invasive Surgery (MICS) – The narrowed valve is surgically removed and replaced with a mechanical or biological valve via a small incision.
  • Incisionless or Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)– TAVR involves replacing the aortic valve using a catheter inserted through a blood vessel, typically in the groin.

Early diagnosis and management of aortic stenosis are crucial for preventing complications and improving the quality of life for affected individuals. Regular check-ups with are essential for monitoring the progression of the condition and determining the appropriate treatment plan.