Get answers to your Aortic Valve Surgery questions.
Aortic valve stenosis; Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction; Rheumatic aortic stenosis; Calcium aortic stenosis
The aorta is the main artery carrying blood out of the heart. When blood leaves the heart, it flows through the aortic valve, into the aorta. In aortic stenosis, the aortic valve does not open fully. This decreases blood flow from the heart.
As the aortic valve becomes more narrow, the pressure increases inside the left heart ventricle. This causes the left heart ventricle to become thicker, which decreases blood flow and can lead to chest pain. As the pressure continues to rise, blood may back up into the lungs, and you may feel short of breath. Severe forms of aortic stenosis prevent enough blood from reaching the brain and rest of the body. This can cause light-headedness and fainting.
Aortic stenosis may be present from birth (congenital), or it may develop later in life (acquired). Children with aortic stenosis may have other congenital conditions.
In adults, aortic stenosis occurs most commonly in those who've had rheumatic fever, a condition that may develop after strep throat or scarlet fever. Valve problems do not develop for 5 - 10 years or longer after rheumatic fever occurs. Rheumatic fever is increasingly rare in the United States.
Only rarely do other factors lead to aortic stenosis in adults. These include calcium deposits forming around the aortic valve, radiation treatment to the chest, and some medications.
Aortic stenosis is not common. It occurs more often in men than in women.
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