About 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis (AS), one of the most common and progressive diseases affecting the aorta — one of the heart’s four main valves.
The disease typically affects older adults, as a result of scarring or calcium deposits on the valve flap. This buildup causes a narrowing of the valve and reduces the amount of blood the heart can pump throughout the body. Age-related AS often begins in those older than age 60, with symptoms appearing in people 70 to 80 years old.
Diagnosis and treatment
Healthcare providers use an echocardiogram to diagnose AS. If symptoms are mild or nonexistent, a person with AS may be monitored to watch for any change in his or her condition. If symptoms are severe, a valve repair or replacement may be recommended.
Physicians with the Heart and Valve Center at Baptist Beaumont Hospital offer a variety of treatments for AS. Patients who are older and not good candidates for open-heart surgery may benefit from a minimally invasive treatment called transcatheter valve replacement (TAVR). During the procedure, the surgeon accesses the diseased valve through the femoral artery in the leg or the left ventricular apex of the heart. Patients who undergo TAVR often have a quicker recovery, dramatic improvement in their symptoms and an improved quality of life.
Your trusted partner in heart care
If you or your loved one requires a heart valve replacement, the clinical team with the Heart and Valve Center at Baptist Beaumont Hospital will guide you through the entire process, from initial consultation to follow-up appointments. For more information or to receive areferral, call (409) 212-TAVR (8287) .
Symptoms of AS
Many people with aortic stenosis have no symptoms until the disease has progressed, causing significantly reduced blood flow to the heart. According to the American Heart Association, symptoms of AS include:
- pain, pressure or a tightness in the chest
- syncope, also called fainting
- heart palpitations
- shortness of breath, especially reduced ability to perform regular daily activities