IF YOU SUFFER FROM SEVERE AORTIC STENOSIS, IT MUST BE A MAJOR CONCERN.
In this section you will find answers to your FAQs to help address the problem. For a proper assessment of the best procedure for your heart condition, be sure to talk to your cardiologist.
WHAT IS THE AORTIC VALVE AND WHICH ARE ITS FUNCTIONS?
The aortic valve is one of the four valves of the heart. It is located between the left ventricle and the aorta, the largest artery in the body. Aortic valve function is ensuring the flow of oxygen-rich blood out from the left ventricle through the aorta and the body and preventing the backflow of blood from the aorta to the left ventricle, maintaining one-way blood flow.
The aortic valve has three leaflets, unless it’s abnormal from birth, i.e., bicuspid aortic valve.
WHAT IS A SEVERE AORTIC STENOSIS?
Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and most serious valve diseases. It is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening due to a calcium formation on the native leaflets. Aortic stenosis restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta, so an increase of transvalvular pressure drop and the calcium on the leaflet prevent an optimal valve closure, generating valve regurgitation.
Aortic stenosis may be due to the natural aging of the body and to the calcification of the valve, cusps and valve ring. The cause may be also due to congenital malformations or rheumatic origins.
WHICH ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF AORTIC STENOSIS?
Many patients with aortic valve disease are asymptomatic even when the stenosis is severe.
Initial symptoms usually include:
- Easy tiring
- Loss of energy
- Swelling of the ankles
- Palpitations (extra or skipped heart beats)
More advanced symptoms may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or loss of consciousness
AORTIC STENOSIS: THE MOST COMMON VALVULAR HEART DESEASE IN THE WORLD.
Source: Medipoint 2018
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement is open heart surgery that replaces diseased aortic valves. Following a general anaesthesia, the surgeon makes a chest incision to access the heart, which is stopped, and the patient is placed on a heart–lung machine that does the work for the heart. The diseased valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve. At the end of the procedure, the heart is restarted and the incision is closed.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation is a minimally invasive procedure that repairs the damaged aortic valve without removing it. With the patient sedated, the cardiologist opens a femoral access and places the new prosthetic valve into the old valve through a catheter. The procedure may be called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI).
Till today, most patients could not be treated with SAVR or TAVI because of their age or other impacting health conditions.
That’s why GEMINI represents a breakthrough innovation in the stenosis aortic treatments panorama. It is the first procedure which focuses on restoring the aortic valve, mitigating the stenosis effect and delaying or even preventing the new valve implanting moment.