According to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, nearly 18,000 aortic valve replacement surgeries were performed in the U.S. during 2007. Heart valve damage can result from disease scarring or destroying a valve, from a birth defect, or simply aging. All of these can lead to aortic stenosis, or narrowing
, the most common valve disorder in developed countries.
Symptoms of aortic stenosis may include shortness of breath during normal daily activities, chest pain, fainting, or lightheadedness. Heart valve problems are often detected during an echocardiogram.
If you have heart valve disease, your physician may prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms and decrease further damage. Unfortunately, medications cannot reverse heart valve damage. Even with medication, damage may continue, so your caregiver may recommend heart valve repair or replacement. Both are common, highly effective methods for treating heart valve conditions.
Your doctor will determine your best treatment option by considering your:
1. Benefits/risks from each treatment type
3. Specific medical conditions
4. Current use of medications
5. Lifestyle needs/goals
Surgical valve replacement means removing a diseased heart valve and replacing it with a prosthetic. Prosthetic heart valves come in different sizes to fit the patient. They are made from a variety of materials including:
1. Tissue (bioprosthetic) valves, made of animal tissue
2. Mechanical valves, created from synthetic (man-made) materials.
Skilled surgeons can replace aortic valves with a minimally invasive 3” incision, rather than the conventional large incision. Dr. Scott Lucas is the only cardiovascular surgeon in Oklahoma routinely performing this minimally invasive procedure. For more information, contact his office: (405) 310‑3028.
Watch a video to learn more!