Treatment for Aortic Valve Regurgitation
 
 

Treatment for Aortic Valve Regurgitation

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Treatment for Aortic Valve Regurgitation

Aortic valve regurgitation is when the aortic valve leaks. The aortic valve is one of the heart’s 4 valves. It is on the left side of the heart. It sits between the lower chamber (ventricle) and the large blood vessel that sends blood to the body (aorta).

Types of treatment

Treatment depends on the cause of your condition and how severe it is.

Mild aortic valve regurgitation with no symptoms may be treated with:

  • Regular monitoring. This includes checkups and testing.

  • Medicines. Medicines may be used to prevent stroke, to control blood pressure, or to help the heart pump.

Severe aortic valve regurgitation may be treated with:

  • Medicines. Medicines may be used to prevent stroke, control blood pressure, or help the heart pump. They may also be used to control abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

  • Surgery. This is done to replace or fix the aortic valve, or to fix the aorta.

Acute severe aortic valve regurgitation is a medical emergency. Surgery is done right away.

An infection of the heart valves can cause acute mild valve regurgitation. You may only need antibiotic medicine for the infection.

Possible complications of aortic valve regurgitation

Possible complications of aortic valve regurgitation can include:

  • The heart not being able to supply enough blood to the body (heart failure)

  • Bulging or weakening of the aorta (aortic aneurysm)

  • Blood clots that can cause heart attack or stroke

  • Bacterial infection of the heart valves

  • Problems from valve replacement surgery

  • Sudden death

To reduce the risk of complications, you may be given medicines such as:

  • Blood thinner medicines to prevent blood clots

  • Antibiotic medicines before some medical and dental procedures to prevent infections

  • Medicines to help the heart pump

Living with aortic valve regurgitation

See your health care provider for regular checkups. Call right away if your symptoms change.  Make sure to:

  • Watch for symptoms when you exercise. Early symptoms may be noticed during exercise or activity.

  • Talk with your health care provider about exercise and physical activity.

  • Tell all of your health care providers including your dentist about your condition.

  • Eat a low-salt, heart-healthy diet. This is to lower blood pressure and reduce the stress on your heart.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol to reduce the risk of arrhythmias.

  • Use a cholesterol-lowering medicine if prescribed.

  • Stop smoking. Talk with your health care provider if you need help to stop.

Preventing aortic valve regurgitation

There are some things that you can do to help prevent aortic valve regurgitation, such as:

  • Managing high blood pressure with lifestyle and medicine

  • Having a sore throat checked for strep bacteria

  • Taking a full course of antibiotic medicine for any strep infection exactly as your health care provider tells you to

 

When should I call the health care provider?

If you notice your symptoms gradually getting worse, call your health care provider. He or she may recommend a change in medicines or possibly surgery.

Have someone call 911 right away if you have:

  • Pale skin

  • Sudden shortness of breath

  • A fast or abnormal heartbeat

  • Fast breathing

  • Severe shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Severe dizziness

  • Loss of consciousness