Aortic Valve Regurgitation

What is aortic valve regurgitation?

The heart, a marvel of biological engineering, relies on a complex system of valves to regulate blood flow. Among these, the aortic valve plays a pivotal role in ensuring blood moves efficiently from the heart to the rest of the body. Aortic valve regurgitation, a cardiac condition, disrupts this harmony. In simple terms, it is the leakage of blood backward through the aortic valve each time the left ventricle relaxes, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood.

Types of aortic valve regurgitation

Aortic valve regurgitation comes in two primary forms: acute and chronic.

Acute regurgitation is often caused by a sudden injury or infection, leading to a swift onset of symptoms.

Chronic regurgitation, on the other hand, develops gradually over time, with the valve progressively deteriorating.

Both types pose serious threats to cardiovascular health, emphasising the importance of early detection and intervention.

Causes of aortic valve regurgitation

Understanding the causes of aortic valve regurgitation is crucial for effective prevention and management. Causes can range from congenital anomalies and rheumatic fever to infections, such as endocarditis. Degenerative changes associated with aging, bicuspid aortic valve, and connective tissue disorders are also contributors. Identifying and addressing the root cause aids in tailoring a targeted treatment plan.

Symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation

Recognising the symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation is essential for timely diagnosis. Patients may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, and an irregular heartbeat. As the condition progresses, symptoms can escalate to palpitations, swollen ankles, and even heart failure. Regular medical check-ups and awareness of these indicators are crucial for early detection and intervention.

Treatment available for aortic valve regurgitation

Fortunately, advancements in medical science offer a range of treatment options for aortic valve regurgitation. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition, the patient’s overall health, and individual preferences. In some cases, medication may be sufficient to manage symptoms. However, more severe cases may require surgical intervention.

Aortic valve surgery is a common approach for treating advanced aortic valve regurgitation. Traditional open-heart surgery involves replacing or repairing the faulty valve. However, recent innovations in medical technology have paved the way for minimally invasive aortic valve repair or replacement. This approach reduces recovery time and minimises the impact on the patient’s overall well-being.

Risks and complications associated with aortic valve regurgitation

Neglecting treatment for aortic valve regurgitation can lead to severe consequences. The heart, strained by the continuous effort to compensate for the regurgitation, may weaken over time. This weakening can result in heart failure, a life-threatening condition where the heart cannot pump blood effectively. Additionally, untreated aortic valve regurgitation may increase the risk of infections, blood clots, and other cardiac complications.

The responsive team facilitates appointments, and scheduling for a Cardiac Consultation, initially accommodating both in-person and virtual consultations based on patient preferences.