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Aortic Valve Stenosis (cont.)

Medications

Medicines aren't used to treat aortic valve stenosis. But you may need medicines to prevent and treat complications from the condition. Or you may need to take medicines if you have valve replacement surgery.

If you have valve replacement surgery, you may need:

You may need other medicines if you develop other problems, such as arrhythmias or heart failure. For more information, see the topic Heart Failure.

Surgery

Your doctor will likely recommend valve replacement surgery if you have symptoms of aortic valve stenosis, unless you have other health problems that make surgery too risky. Most of the time, valve replacement surgery has a high rate of success and a low risk of causing other problems.

Balloon valvuloplasty is a less invasive procedure than surgery. It may be an option for some people who have aortic valve stenosis. This procedure might be done in older adults who cannot have valve replacement surgery. Although the heart valve is not replaced, the narrowed opening is made larger.

Aortic valve replacement surgery

Aortic valve replacement surgery is either an open-heart surgery or a minimally invasive surgery. In an aortic valve replacement surgery, the damaged valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve (mechanical or tissue).

View a slideshow on aortic valve replacement surgeryClick here to see an illustration.. To learn more about this decision, see:

Click here to view a Decision Point.Aortic Valve Stenosis: Should I Have Surgery?

If you decide to have surgery, you and your doctor will decide which type of valve is right for you. For help with this decision, see:

Click here to view a Decision Point.Heart Valve Problems: Should I Choose a Mechanical Valve or Tissue Valve to Replace My Heart Valve?

Bypass surgery with valve replacement surgery

If you are going to have valve replacement surgery, your doctor may suggest that you have a coronary angiogram/catheterization test. This test can show if you have blockages in your coronary arteries (as part of coronary artery disease). If you have serious blockages, your doctor may want to do a coronary artery bypass surgery at the same time as the valve replacement surgery. For more information, see Aortic Valve Stenosis: Treatment with Other Heart Diseases.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a new way to replace an aortic valve. It does not require open-heart surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters in blood vessels to replace the aortic valve with a specially designed artificial valve. The catheters are inserted through small cuts in the groin.

This procedure is available in a small number of hospitals. And it is not right for everyone. It might be done for a person who cannot have surgery or for a person who has a high risk of serious problems from surgery. For example, it might be an option if you are not healthy enough for an open-heart surgery. Although this procedure is minimally invasive, it has serious risks including stroke, kidney problems, and death.2

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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