Aortic stenosis is the narrowing or obstruction of the heart's aortic valve, which prevents it from opening properly and blocks the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta.
Aortic stenosis may be present from birth (congenital) or it may develop later in life (acquired). Other risk factors include valve calcification, being male, and rheumatic fever.
- Breathlessness with activity
- Chest pain, angina-type under the sternum, may radiate; crushing, squeezing, pressure, tightness; increased with exercise, relieved with rest
- Fainting or weakness with activity
- Cardiac Catheterization
- Aortic valve repair surgery corrects aortic insufficiency; the damaged valve is strengthened and shortened to help the valve close more tightly.
- Aortic valve replacement surgery corrects both aortic stenosis and insufficiency.
- Patients who cannot undergo surgery—due to other conditions or because they are ill—may be candidates for a TAVR procedure.
Surgeons may consider replacing the original valve with either:
- Mechanical valves, created from man-made materials, which require long-term blood thinning with warfarin medication.
- Biological (tissue) valves
Please note: The skilled cardiologists at MedStar Harbor Hospital can diagnose and treat most heart conditions on site. Patients who need advanced diagnostic testing or heart surgery will be referred to MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, part of our MedStar family of providers, as appropriate.