FAQ - Aortic Valve Insufficiency
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Does anyone on here have aortic insufficiency/leaky valve?

If so when were you diagnosed and what have you had done so far? My baby has this and we expect at some point that he will have surgery to repair or replace the valve, and its very scary. However our cardiologist keeps assuring us that everything will be fine as his valve defect is the result of bicuspid aortic valve and not "diseased" or whatever, just looking for support I guess. Thanks!

i've had 2 open heart surgerys the 2nd one they put a mechanical heart valve in me because i had leakage,its been like 2 yrs i think but i still have to have blood work done 1 or 2 times a week depends on if my blood is too thick or to thin i'm not able to do the things i used to do,but the mechanical heart valve is doing ok in me i had to register it in case they have a recall on it.but it works and other than that i'm doing fine.hope this help some,and God Bless You & your Baby take care.  (+ info)

Is aortic valve insufficiency hereditary?

I just found out my fiance has valve insufficiency. He was told (by the VA) it was hereditary. His mom says it isn't. Does anyone know?

Some forms are hereditary and others are acquired. Aortic insufficiency can be associated with several forms of congenital heart disease. Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos (several subtypes) are hereditary.

Having rheumatic fever in childhood can result in AI as an adult.

  (+ info)

I have aortic valve insufficiency, do I need heart surgery (valve replacement) and when?

You can have a minimal amount of AOV insufficiency and never need open heart. It all depends on how much that valve leaks and how fast it gets worse.

If you had an Echocardiogram then they are aware of how much it leaks. If they didn't mentions valve replacement then I would just ask to have an Echo done yearly so you stay on top of the problem.
I know that it is hard, but try not to stress over it too much.

Nobody can predict if or when you will need surgery.

Best of luck  (+ info)

Are There Aortic Valve Repair Surgeries?

Hi, surgeons. I know there're mitral valve repair surgeries. And I wonder are there aortic valve repair surgeries?

And btw, what's the differences between aortic valve insufficiency and aortic valve stenosis?

Stenosis is the narrowing of the valve
Insufficiency is the leaking of the valve
Yes they do Aortic valve repair surgeries, but sometimes a repair is not possible, it depends on whats wrong with your valve.  (+ info)

What is the effect of a pacemaker after aortic valve replacement surgery?

My father, aged 46, had open heart surgery on Wednesday and had his aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve.

His heart has not yet started up again on it's own (although he is awake) and they are now going to put in a pacemaker on Monday.

I don't really know what all this means. Is it common? What risks are involved? The doctors seem fairly relaxed about the procedure and have ensured us there is nothing to worry about.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

"His heart has not yet started up again on it's own (although he is awake) and they are now going to put in a pacemaker on Monday."

Your Dad's heart is a muscular organ with four chambers designed specifically to work efficiently , reliably, and continuously over his lifetime. the muscular wall thereof contract on a regulated sequence, which then pumps blood as required by the body while expending as little energy as possible during each heartbeat.

The contractions of the muscle fibers in the heart itself is controlled by electricity that flows through the heart in a precise manner along distinct pathwaysand at a controlled speed.

The electrical current that begins each and every heartbeat originates in your Dad's natural pacemaker, that is the sinus or sinoatrial node, which is located directly at he top of the upper right heart chamber or right atrium. The rate at which your Dad's natural pacemaker discharges its electrical current determines his heart rate. This rate is influenced by nerve impulses and by levels of certain hormones in his bloodstream.

In adults at rest, the normal heart rate is usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute. However, lower rates are possible in young adults, especially if physically fit. Yet, the heart rate is considered by doctors to be normal ONLY when the heart rate is inappropriately fast or is irregular, but also when the electrical impulses travel along abnormal pathways.
Age-related changes in the heart's electrical system make make some arrythmias more likely, possibly as in your Dad's case. An overactive thyroid gland, sometimes...no cause can be found to identify one.

Most arrythmias neither cause symptoms nor interfere with the hearts ability to pump blood, and pose little or no risk, although they can cause considerable anxiety if someone becomes aware of them. However, some , harmless in in themselves, can lead to more serious arrhythmias. Thus, any arrhythmia that IMPAIRS THE HEART'S ABILITY to pump blood adequately is serious stuff. How serious depends on whether the arrhythmia originate in the natural pacemaker of the heart, in the atria, or in the ventricles. Those that originate in the ventricles are more serious than those that originate in the pacemaker. However there are exceptions....

Your Dad's aortic valve replacement may possibly have been due to abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias) that are also known as sequential heartbeats that are irregular, too fast, too slow, or conducted via an abnormal electrical pathway through the heart. For with harmless arrhymthmias, reassurance is treatment enough. In your Dad's case, which I deduce is serious, an artificial pacemaker has been decided to help him regulate his heartbeat.

Please note that sometimes the area of the natural pacemaker were your Dad's surgeon intenionally felt safe to cut into sometimes gets damaged in heart surgeries. ...as all heart surgery are purported to be the taking of risk ...and in a risky situation, some things just happen ...unknowingly and without malice.

The natural pacemaker of your Dad's heart, the sinoatrial node, has two places involved, where when one portion of this natural pacemaker is damaged, the other takes up the slack. Sometime this 'slack' isn't strong enough or does not occur. Thus a pacemaker implant is the decision of the Doctors that will act in place of your Dad's own pacemaker to his benefit. They implant it surgically under the skin, usu. below the left or right collarbone,...then connect it to the heart by running wires inside of the brachiocephalic vein. It's low-energy circuitry and battery designs now last a patient about 10-15 years undesturbed.

When you Dad's heartbeat, after placement, slows below a certain threashhold set by the doctors on the pacemaker, the electronic pacemaker will begin immediately by firing the necessary electrical impulses to assist your Dad in increaseing his heart rate accordingly.

I hope this helps...
Much Love and Respect


I agree with POPO: Your best answers are going to come from the cardiologist who is caring for your father, don't be afraid to ask.  (+ info)

How does alcohol affect someone who has been diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis?

My brother has been diagnosed with aortic valve stenosis and also is a smoker and does drink alcohol on the weekends. He knows smoking should be elimated but what about the effects of alcohol? Does this also contribute to his stenosis?

Hi dear....I think we all know, even the youngest person on this site knows, there are no GOOD things that come from smoking or alcohol. They are both addicting drugs that people do to appease themselves. Think about it.

Alcohol plus smoking are stimulants. A stimulant acts on the body by constricting the blood vessels. Caffeine too. Constricting means to make smaller. He has a valve that is smaller than it should be. No one knows what causes this but hereditary plays an important part.

Anyway, since it is naturally smaller, then one goes and drinks or smokes, the entire aortic artery itself gets smaller, along with the other arteries of the body.

Take a hose. Turn the water on a good strong ways. Then bend the hose on a spot making it difficult for the same amount of water to flow what was earlier. The water coming out the end is not as strong, yet the origin or the water is as strong at the spigot. All this water is being pushed against the bent area but is not getting through fast enough.

The spigot would be the heart. It is still pumping at the same strength it was before the drinking or cigarette, but it is pumping against a brick wall so to speak. The blood is not flowing through the constricted valve, and now not so good through the constricted artery, so it is backing up somewhat as well as the heart tries to pump harder to get it through.

It is a perfect recipe for congestive heart failure in the not too distant future. The heart muscle will enlarge as the muscle is being worked too hard, and that is NOT a good thing for a heart. It will be the ventricle that enlarges. The left ventricle pumps the blood through the lungs and since the enlarged ventricle is larger, it it not as effective, so the blood moves through the heart a little slower than normal and the lungs will pick up excess fluid from the blood and deposit it in the lungs making it very difficult to breathe. Left untreated it can kill you. However, the good news is: Surgery can cure the valve. He can have open heart surgery, and a replacement valve placed. My step dad had this and he was like a new man after. Naturally, he quit smoking after smoking for more than 60 years. He was 72 when he had the surgery.

Anyway, I think you can tell him all this, but he may not listen. That is just the way it is. Give him the knowledge. He will do with it what he will. Say a little prayer.

God bless you and him.

Checkout www.healthline.com. It and www.webmd.com are wonderful sites to find out all about medicines and disease processes.

I am an RN  (+ info)

Is it normal to take days to wake up after a aortic valve replacement surgery?

My grandfather just had Aortic Valve replacement surgery on Tuesday and is still not waking up....he is almost completely breathing on his own and his vital signs are good but not waking up or moving his body hardly any. He has only moved his left arm and leg very little.

Normally, it is normal for the patient to get out of anesthesia (depending on depth of anesthesia). But it's a long time for him, might be the doctors have sedated him , for reasons they know better.  (+ info)

What happens before, during, and after an aortic valve replacement?

Ok so i am 16 years old, and i have Aortic stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve, aortic regurgitation and an Enlarged aorta. I am soon going to be getting an aortic valve replacement. I am just wondering what happens before and after the surgery and how long i will be in the hospital, how long in the ICU, what kind of tubes/machines will i need? any information will help. thanks :)

Mechanical valve will last for ever. But the red blood cells will be damaged and clot will be formed in the implanted mechanical valve. In order to prevent the formation of blood clot, the patient has to take warfarin (a blood thinner) for the rest of his/her life.
If pig valve is used, there is no necessity to take the medicine (warfarin) for the rest of his/her life. But the tissue valve will function only for 15 years.
Since you are too young, you have to opt for mechanical valve and to take the medicine for the rest of your life.
Valve replacement is indicated for virtually all who can tolerate surgery. In younger patients, the patient's own pulmonic valve can be used, providing good durability; a bioprosthesis is then used to replace the pulmonic valve (Ross procedure). Most often, the aortic valve is replaced with a mechanical or bioprosthetic valve.
You will stay in an intensive care unit for the first 2 or 3 days following the operation. Your heart functions will be monitored constantly. The average hospital stay is 1 - 2 weeks. Complete recovery will take a few weeks to several months, depending on your health before surgery.  (+ info)

Where can I find a list of surgeons who specialize exclusively in aortic valve replacement?

If such a list is not available, please recommend a heart surgeon who specializes exclusively in aortic valve replacement. The closer they are located to Louisiana the better, but close proximity is not required, just desired.


Try any large University based hospital for starters. Before Katrina, I'm sure Tulane would have been the place to go. Not sure if Oschner is still up to full speed yet. Try Baylor or any of the big Texas hospitals.  (+ info)

Is high intensity exercise bad for a bicuspid aortic valve patient?

I'm a 35 yr.old Bicuspid Aortic Valve patient who engages in high intensity training(weightlifting and cardio). Is there anything I should be apprehensive about? I'm also on a healthy diet, high in protein, low in simple carbs.

First off, listen to Robyn and talk with a cardiologist about this, as he/she is the only qualified person to determine your exercise limitations as they relate to your condition. With your condition you should be seeing one regularly, ideally every year but every 4 years at a minimum.

With that out of the way, I am 34 and have this condition myself as well as an enlarged aortic root. In fact I just had my annual checkup yesterday at UCLA, one of the finest cardiology centers in the world, so I am well primed to talk about this. I have been under the care of a cardiologist for over 25 years and go in for routine visits and tests every year. The exercise issue has always been a hotly debated topic between me and my cardiologist, and I have always used great care when exercising as a result. Several cardiologists I have seen flat out said "No weightlifting of any kind". I never cared for that answer, being a lover of weightlifting and staying in shape. My current cardiologist, who I have been seeing for 3 years, has a different viewpoint. He not only recommends cardio activity but also feels weightlifting can be beneficial to both body and heart. His specific recommendation is "Do not do heavy weight". When asked to clarify what he means by "heavy" his response is "You should be able to comfortably do 15 reps and not strain". I was able to "talk him down" (ha-ha) to 12 reps, as that is about the highest number of reps you can do and still build significant muscle. He seemed OK with this. He said that doing less than 12 repetitions can raise your blood pressure to extreme levels which puts extra strain on your heart and specifically your aortic valve, which by nature is deformed (2 flaps instead of 3) and does not operate as efficiently as a normal aortic valve, so obviously you want to avoid putting any extra stress on it if possible.

On the cardio side, as you probably know most doctors and cardiologists recommend regular cardio for overall heart health. I do cardio myself, and have told my cardiologist that when doing strenuous biking or running that my heart rate sometimes hits the 180s, and asked him if I should be concerned. He said no, the main concern was increased blood pressure, not increased heart rate, and cardio really only significantly increases heart rate, while weightlifting increases both.

So bottom line, if you weightlift do 12 or more comfortable reps and do not do reps where you are straining or red in the face trying to get in that last good rep. As for cardio, it is recommended and even high intensity cardio is OK according to my sources.

I hope that helps.  (+ info)

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