Aortic Stenosis Treatment
The treatment for aortic stenosis depends on whether the narrowed valve has reduced the blood enough to cause symptoms. Those who have not developed symptoms of aortic stenosis must be monitored carefully with regular checkups. When symptoms develop, the valve needs to be repaired or replaced. Depending on the situation, the doctor may recommend open-heart surgery to repair or replace the valve, or the doctor may recommend a procedure to repair the valve that does not require open-heart surgery. Medications may be used to treat aortic stenosis in someone who has symptoms, but surgery offers the only chance for a cure. Medications may also be used to treat the complications of aortic stenosis, such as congestive heart failure or atrial fibrillation.
Treatment options for aortic stenosis include:
- Healthy heart diet:
- Heart surgery for aortic valve stenosis:
- Valve replacement
- Valvuloplasty: valve repair
- Procedures that do not require surgery:
- Balloon valvuloplasty: a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin or arm, and a balloon at eh end of the catheter is used to open the narrowed passageway through the valve.
- Medications for aortic stenosis:
- Usually prescribed to control symptoms of congestive heart failure
- Digoxin for atrial fibrillation associated with aortic stenosis
- Diuretics for heart failure associated with aortic stenosis
- Nitrates for heart failure associated with aortic stenosis
- High blood pressure treatment:
- High blood pressure worsens symptoms in those with aortic stenosis
- Treatment with statin medications may help to reduce progression of aortic stenosis.
Those who have had valve replacement surgery require antibiotics to prevent bacterial endocarditis before they undergo the following procedures:
- Dental procedures that may cause bleeding of the gums:
- Dental cleaning
- Dental extraction
- Root canal
- Oral surgery
- Respiratory procedures:
Antibiotics used to prevent bacterial endocarditis include:
Aortic Stenosis Heart Diet
Diet changes for people with heart failure due to aortic stenosis:
- Control Dietary Salt:
- Lower dietary sodium by following a special hypertension diet (2-4 grams of sodium per day) that is low in salt.
- Foods that are high in salt should be avoided.
- Do not use table salt; consider a salt substitute with your doctor's consent. Season foods with dried herbs, garlic, onion, or lemons.
- See cardiac diet for more information.
- Fluid restriction:
- Ask your doctor what degree you need to restrict fluid consumption.
- Ask your doctor how many 8 ounce cups (240 ml) of water are you allowed to drink per day.
- Remember 2 cups (1 pint or about 500 ml) of retained fluid will equal one pound (2.2 kg) of fluid weight gain.
- General Diet:
- Follow a proper cardiac diet, low in saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Most people with CHF taking a diuretic medication need to eat potassium rich foods.
- Potassium rich foods include bananas, apricots, raisins, oranges, grapefruit, and peas.
- See Cardiac Diet for more information on limiting fats and cholesterol.
A healthy diet to for those with heart disease should include:
- Limit total fat intake to no more than 20 to 25% of your total calories:
- Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
- Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
- Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
- Less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
- Just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (You may want to ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a reasonable calorie level for you.)
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Eat more complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fiber. Whole grains and brown rice are good fiber sources. Other sources include:
- Limit iron intake: too much iron can increase atherosclerosis
- Avoid fad diets: eat a well-rounded diet instead
- Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins. Some people may benefit from these supplements.
Aortic Stenosis Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of aortic stenosis.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Do I need to lose weight?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Aortic Stenosis Specialist
Continue to Aortic Stenosis Home Care
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- Segal BL. Valvular heart disease, Part 1. Diagnosis and surgical management of aortic valve disease in older adults. Geriatrics. 2003 Sep;58(9):31-5.