Aortic Valve Treatment
The aortic valve is a large blood vessel connected to the left ventricle, one of the lower chambers of the heart. The aortic valve exits the heart and branches out into smaller blood vessels, helping oxygen-rich blood flow throughout the body.
When something goes wrong with the aortic valve, it can’t function properly. Depending on the specific problem, this can be an emergency, or it can cause symptoms ranging from high blood pressure to shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue and leg swelling. If these symptoms continue or become severe, surgical treatment may be needed.
Aortic dissection, a tear in the wall of the aorta, is always a medical emergency that requires open heart surgery or a less-invasive endovascular surgery. Two other aortic valve conditions are aortic stenosis, when the aorta becomes narrowed, and aortic regurgitation, when the aorta is leaky and blood moves back into the valve instead of out into the body. These two conditions can be treated surgically if necessary, either with open or minimally invasive techniques such as transcatheter repair. Valve implantation, where the aortic valve is replaced with an artificial valve, may be needed in some cases. This can be done with open-heart surgery or using the transcatheter technique.