Out of all the valve diseases that exist, aortic valve stenosis is not only the most common, but it is also the most serious. Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve opening narrows. When the heart’s aortic valve cannot fully open, the blood flow from the heart’s left ventricle to the aorta is reduced or completely blocked. As a result, the rest of the body does not receive proper blood flow. Aortic stenosis usually develops as a result of calcium buildup on the valve as a person ages. However, some children are born with aortic stenosis as a result of only having two cusps in their aortic valve instead of three.
Aortic Stenosis Symptoms
Many people do not experience any symptoms with aortic valve stenosis until the restricted blood flow becomes extreme. Let’s take a look at some of the aortic stenosis symptoms one can experience.
- Rapid, fluttering heartbeat (palpitations)
- Chest pain (angina) or tightness with activity
- Feeling faint or lightheaded, or fainting with activity
- Abnormal heart sound (murmur)
- Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
- Fatigue or decline in activity level
- Not eating enough or not gaining enough weight (mainly in children with AS)
If aortic stenosis leads to heart failure, the symptoms include swollen ankles or feet, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Treatment for Aortic Stenosis and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
There are several treatment options for aortic valve stenosis. These include aortic valve repair, balloon valvuloplasty, aortic valve replacement, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is a fitting option for people with a risk of complications if they decide to go the surgical route. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that involves a new valve being inserted without removing the valve that is old and damaged. The new valve is placed inside the old valve. Usually, a standard valve replacement procedure requires open-heart surgery where the chest is surgically separated. However, this surgical procedure can lead to many complications for a patient with severe aortic stenosis or a patient in all risk categories. TVAR only requires a small incision to be made in the chest or some doctors may enter through the femoral artery. Although TAVR still comes with some risks, it is much safer for these types of patients and the recovery time is greatly decreased. With TAVR, high-risk patients can enjoy an improved quality of life.
TAVR Procedures in Blue Bell, PA
Managing aortic valve stenosis is possible thanks to transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Now that you are aware of this treatment option, you may be wondering “where are the best TAVR surgeons near me?” If you live in Blue Bell or the surrounding area, then AMS Cardiology is the preferred choice for aortic stenosis treatment and TAVR. We are one of the most well-respected groups in the Philadelphia region due to our state-of-the-art cardiovascular care and patient satisfaction. It is our mission to treat patients with the utmost respect, empathy, and professionalism. If you would like to learn more about AMS Cardiology and our aortic valve treatment options, please contact us here.