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Aortic Valve Stenosis: Treatment When You Have Other Heart Problems

Topic Overview

If aortic valve stenosis happens along with other heart problems, such as other valve problems, it can affect the decision of when to have surgery to replace the valve.

Other valve problems

The following valve problems might happen along with aortic valve stenosis:

  • Mitral regurgitation: A leaky mitral valve
  • Mitral stenosis: A narrowed mitral valve
  • Aortic regurgitation: An aortic valve that also leaks

How are aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation treated together?

If you have aortic regurgitation in addition to aortic stenosis, replacing your aortic valve will fix both problems. Deciding when to have surgery might depend on which problem is more serious and if you have symptoms.

How are aortic stenosis and mitral valve problems treated together?

Your doctor might suggest a surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve and replace the aortic valve at the same time. But it is more risky to have multiple-valve surgery than to replace a single valve. As a result, treatment of multiple valve problems depends on the combination of problems and which problem is in more urgent need of treatment.

Coronary artery disease

If you have aortic valve stenosis along with coronary artery disease, these heart problems work together to impair the function of your heart and can lead to heart failure. Your heart cannot pump as much blood as normal to the body. And less blood reaches the heart muscle.

If you are going to have aortic valve replacement surgery, your doctor may suggest that you also have bypass surgery for coronary artery disease. Bypass surgery is an open-heart surgery that redirects blood flow around blocked coronary arteries.

Having both surgeries at once can improve your heart's ability to pump blood and improve blood flow to the heart muscle.

If you have had a heart attack, and if your left ventricle is damaged, your heart might not be able to compensate for aortic stenosis. So you might get heart failure sooner. If the heart attack causes significant damage to the heart muscle, valve replacement surgery may not completely restore the heart's function. Damage to the muscle from the heart attack also can increase the risk of valve surgery.

Related Information

References

Other Works Consulted

  • Bonow RO, et al. (2008). 2008 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2006 Guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing committee to revise the 1998 Guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease). Circulation, 118(15): e523–e661.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last Revised November 2, 2011

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