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Aortic Stenosis – Overview

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Let's talk about aortic stenosis. Now, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve in the heart that connects the heart to the body. This narrowing can cause heart failure, shortness of breath, arrhythmias, palpitations, and chest pain. And when detected and if found to be severe, carries a very significant morbidity and mortality and should be treated as soon as possible. What are the treatment options we have available? The first is medications and they don't work very well. Medications would be improving blood pressure and controlling cholesterol and risk factors and stopping smoking and exercising. Inevitably, though, if you have severe aortic stenosis, you will need some kind of treatment. And the treatment options we have include open heart surgery or something called transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Open heart surgery has been around for a very long time and is our first choice. If you are deemed healthy enough and can withstand having surgery, that will be the treatment option. That would be the standard of care. However, if you are higher risk or if you have a contraindication to surgery, then we would opt to perform transaortic catheter replacement. What is transaortic catheter replacement or TAVR? That is a non-invasive procedure that involves going through the arteries and veins of the legs and using catheters to replace the valve in the heart. This is a noninvasive approach with excellent results and excellent recovery time.

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