Evaluation and Treatment of Structural Heart Disease
What is Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis is the most common valve disease in the western world. It is the narrowing of the aortic valve of the heart, which connects the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) to the aorta (the main artery of the body). This narrowing results in a reduction of the amount of blood pumping to the body, as well as backing up of blood in the lungs.
What are the Symptoms of Aortic Valve Stenosis?
Aortic valve stenosis results in three main symptoms, the so-called “cardinal symptoms” of aortic stenosis. Loss of consciousness due to reduced blood flow to the brain, angina (heart pains) due to reduced blood flow to the heart, as well as shortness of breath with exertion (congestive heart failure) due to backing up of blood in the lungs.
How is Aortic Valve Stenosis Diagnosed?
If you suspect that you have any of the above symptoms, the physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates will first obtain an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) as well as an electrocardiogram. These two studies are usually sufficient to exclude these diagnoses. However, if there is still a concern, we’ll proceed with a transesophageal echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart performed endoscopically under sedation) and possibly a stress test as well as some lab work for confirmation.
How is Aortic Valve Stenosis Treated?
If you are found to have Aortic valve stenosis, the physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates will discuss with you the different modalities available for the treatment of this disease. In most situations, once symptoms start, replacement of this valve will be recommended.
This can be achieved by either surgical or minimally invasive methods. The physicians at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates perform the minimally invasive methods of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation(TAVI), which have gained traction over the past few years due to their less invasive nature. Our physicians will evaluate you to determine if you are a candidate for such a procedure.