Identifying, Diagnosing, and Treating Aortic Stenosis

What Are the Symptoms?

The classic symptoms of aortic stenosis include:
 
Once aortic symptoms appear, a person's condition can deteriorate quickly.
 

Diagnosing Aortic Stenosis

Doctors diagnose aortic stenosis based on the patient's symptoms, a physical exam, and certain tests and procedures. The tests used to diagnose aortic stenosis can include:
 

How Is Aortic Stenosis Treated?

The recommended treatment for aortic stenosis will be based on the severity of the stenosis and the patient's general health.
 
If a person is diagnosed with mild to moderate aortic stenosis but has no symptoms, the doctor may recommend only regular checkups every 6 to 12 months to monitor the patient's condition.
 
For aortic stenosis with mild symptoms, medical therapy may be recommended. This can include limiting strenuous activity and using medications to treat heart failure. Also, preventive antibiotics are recommended whenever the patient undergoes any surgical or dental procedures.
 
For more severe cases, surgery is recommended. Aortic valve replacement is the most frequently performed surgery for severe cases of aortic stenosis. Surgery is usually recommended in these cases, because the five-year survivability of severe aortic stenosis is very low without aortic valve replacement surgery.
 
For people who would not do well in surgery, the doctor may recommend a balloon valvuloplasty. In balloon valvuloplasty, a balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through a vein and eventually into the heart. Once inside the valve, the balloon is inflated to expand the valve opening.
 
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