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Aortic Valve Regurgitation (cont.)

Treatment Overview

Treatment for aortic valve regurgitation usually depends on whether you have symptoms from your leaky heart valve and how well your heart is pumping. Other things that affect treatment include your age and risks related to surgery.

Tests to assess

After your diagnosis, you'll probably have tests, such as an electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram.

You'll need regular echocardiogram tests as part of your treatment. Your doctor will let you know how often you'll get these tests. For more information, see Exams and Tests.

Monitor your symptoms

If you have any chest pain or pressure, fainting, or shortness of breath, be sure to tell your doctor right away. He or she will rely on you to report how you feel and how your symptoms are changing.

Medicines to manage

If your regurgitation is mild and you don't have any symptoms, you doctor may not prescribe medicines. If your regurgitation is moderate to severe, your doctor may prescribe a blood pressure medicine. For more information, see Medications.

Lifestyle changes

Because your heart is already working hard to keep up with your body's needs, your doctor will probably recommend that you make some healthy lifestyle changes. These include eating a heart-healthy diet and not smoking. For more information, see Living With Aortic Regurgitation.

Surgery if you get worse

You will likely have surgery to replace your aortic valve if your regurgitation is getting worse. You might have surgery before you get symptoms. If you have acute regurgitation, surgery may be done right away. For more information, see Surgery.

End-of-life care

If you have symptoms and don't have surgery, you will likely develop severe heart failure and have a much shorter life span. So it's important to think about end-of-life issues. You may want to consider the type of care you wish to receive in case you are unable to make your wishes known. For more information, see the topic Care at the End of Life.

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