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Aortic Stenosis – Treatment and Prevention

Aortic valve stenosis is an abnormality of the aortic valve in the heart where it gets narrowed because of many factors like deposition of calcium in the aortic valve, congenital and rheumatic fever due to strepyococcal infection. Surgical intervention is needed and medical treatment may be given to ease the symptoms of aortic valve stenosis. If not treated, aortic valve stenosis can result in serious heart problems. If surgery is not done at the right time, the patient may go into heart failure and can cause death in very serious cases.

What is the treatment for aortic valve disease?

The treatment plan of aortic valve disease includes:

Medications

  • The doctor may prescribe medications to control the heart rhythm.
  • Medications that can lower the cholesterol may be prescribed by the doctor.
  • They may prevent the development of aortic stenosis.
  • Consult your doctor to know that if you need to lower the cholesterol.

Nonsurgical Procedures

Aortic valve is repaired or sometimes replaced. These therapies include:

Balloon valvuloplasty

  • A thin, soft, tube (catheter) is used in this procedure.
  • A doctor guides the catheter through the blood vessel in your groin, arm or thigh into the heart.
  • When it reaches the heart, then it is pushed further to reach the narrowed aortic valve.
  • The balloon at the tip of the catheter is inflated.
  • The balloon is made to push open the aortic valve stenosis and this helps to improve the blood flow.
  • The balloon is made to deflate and then guided back out of the body.
  • In adults this procedure is rarely successful and for this reason doctors use this technique very rarely.

Per cutaneous aortic valve replacement

  • The most common treatment for aortic valve stenosis is aortic valve replacement surgery.
  • This was performed traditionally as open-heart surgery.

Aortic valve surgery

Surgical procedures used to treat aortic valve stenosis include:

Aortic valve replacement

  • In this the surgeon removes the narrowed aortic valve and places with a tissue valve or mechanical valve.
  • In other type of procedure, the doctor may use pulmonary valve (graft) for tissue valve replacement.
  • The doctor may discuss with you regarding the severity of the condition and depending on that will perform the surgery.

Valvuloplasty

  • Valve repair includes the removal of calcium deposits near or on the valve.
  • This helps in clearing the passage and improves the blood flow.
  • When these surgical techniques are performed, the patient is on medications for lifetime and may suffer from irregular heart rhythm.

Prevention

Although aortic stenosis cannot be prevented but we can do it by some possible ways. They include:

  • Firstly make sure you consult your doctor when you suffer a sore throat.
  • If left untreated can develop to rheumatic fever.
  • Antibiotics can be taken as per the doctors advise.
  • Risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure and weight are linked to aortic valve stenosis.
  • Keep cholesterol, blood pressure and weight under control.
  • If you are a woman of childbearing age and you suffer from aortic stenosis, then consult your doctor and talk to her regarding pregnancy as heart works harder during pregnancy.

Diet Changes

  • Lower the content of salt in your diet.
  • Ask your doctor the amount of fluid to be taken when suffering with this disease.
  • Follow a strict cardiac diet like low in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates like starch and fiber.
  • Cholesterol can be taken up to 200 mg every day.
  • Take enough calories to achieve normal and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your iron intake and eat a well balanced diet.
  • Keep meeting your doctor frequently and take the medications prescribed without fail and maintain a healthy life.

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