Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of a heart valve. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, reducing the blood flow from the heart into the aorta and onward to the rest of the body.
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, feeling dizzy or fainting
- Difficulty with exercising
Major risk factors include:
- Increase age
- High blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
Severe Aortic Stenosis is a very serious problem. Without treatment, half the people who are feeling symptoms die within an average of two years. It is important to get diagnosed and get treatment without delay.
Treatment for aortic stenosis depends on how far the disease has progressed. If the stenosis is mild, medication may be prescribed. However, as the stenosis gets worse, the diseased aortic valve may need to be replaced.
Aortic valve replacement through open heart surgery is common treatment for severe aortic stenosis. The surgeon removes the diseased valve and replaces it with either a mechanical valve (made from man-made materials) or a biological valve (made from animal or human tissue). Open-heart surgery requires stopping the heart and using a heart-lung machine to maintain blood flow during the surgery.
However, nearly half of patients with aortic stenosis are considered high-risk, which means that open-heart valve surgery is not an option for them.