Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing or blockage of the aortic valve, which controls the flow of blood as it leaves the heart. Aortic valve stenosis is one of the most common and serious heart valve problems since it makes your heart work much harder than normal to compensate for the diseased valve. This can cause heart failure over time.
Learn more about your risk for aortic valve stenosis in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, or how you can treat your heart conditions at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals. Take our online heart health assessment or Find a Doctor online to schedule a consultation.
Symptoms of Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis may take years to develop. Some people with mild stenosis may not even notice symptoms. If the disease is advanced or the blood flowing through the valve is significantly reduced, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pressure or tightness in the chest
- Palpitations (a feeling of pounding or noticeable heartbeats)
- Fatigue with activity
- Heart murmur (a sound your doctor hears with a stethoscope)
What Causes Aortic Valve Stenosis?
There are three causes of aortic valve stenosis:
- Calcium buildup on the valve. Your valve has three leaflets that open and close to control blood flow. Calcium from your blood can build up and cause the leaflets to stiffen, which narrows the valve opening.
- Congenital heart defect. This is the most common cause of aortic valve stenosis in children. The leaflets did not form properly while the fetus was growing in the womb.
- Rheumatic fever. This complication of strep throat can scar the aortic valve. Older adults who had this disease as a child are at risk for aortic valve stenosis.
Aortic Valve Stenosis Treatment in Las Vegas, NV
The doctors at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican usually treat severe aortic valve stenosis by replacing the valve through open heart surgery or a minimally invasive procedure.
- Open heart surgery involves a large incision in the chest and through the breastbone to gain access to the heart and exchange the diseased valve with a new valve.
- Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision or opening in your femoral artery in your groin and threads a long, flexible catheter (tube) up to your heart to reach the aortic valve. Then, a new valve is placed inside the old one and pushes the old leaflets out of the way.
If your aortic valve stenosis is mild or not causing significant symptoms, you may be a good candidate for nonsurgical therapy or medications. Your doctor will likely advise you not to participate in strenuous sports activities to avoid unnecessary strain on your heart.
Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals provides expert care and treatment for patients with aortic valve stenosis in Henderson and Las Vegas, NV.