A ray of hope for patients with aortic stenosis
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) offers a ray of hope for patients with aortic stenosis. About 50% of patients with aortic stenosis do not survive for more than two years after the onset of symptoms unless treated on time — and only 3% are alive at five years, indicate statistics. Aortic stenosis refers to narrowing of the aortic valve (main outflow heart valve). Symptoms may not be noticeable until blood flow becomes significantly reduced. The condition is considered severe when blood flow is compromised to the extent that patients develop breathlessness, chest pain and unexplained fainting or blackouts on exertion. Over time, the condition can restrict the activity of patients. In some people, aortic stenosis can occur due to a congenital heart defect called a bicuspid aortic valve. However, it mostly develops during ageing as calcium or scarring damages the valve and restricts the amount of blood flowing through the valve. 2-D Echo diagnoses the disease. TAVR, which an already an established standard of care for aortic stenosis in Europe and USA, is now emerging as a promising treatment in India. A CT scan angiogram is done before TAVR and is used to size the valve required, assess blockages in the heart arteries, and size the leg artery from which the valve can be delivered. The new valve is positioned inside the old damaged aortic heart valve and starts functioning immediately. The valve has tissue leaflets and does not require a strong blood thinner as in a metal surgical valve. A 65-year-old man from Bangladesh had a severely calcified aortic heart valve. A second open-heart surgery may have put him at risk. His diseased valve was successfully replaced with TAVR, and he was discharged within three days and he travelled back to Dhaka on day 4. Similarly, a 150kg gentleman had difficulty breathing and was diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. He already had one open-heart surgery in the past and had a rough course in recovering from it. TAVR was offered and he got a discharge in four day. To prevent aortic stenosis take steps to prevent rheumatic fever, take care of your oral health, address risks of coronary artery disease.
Disclaimer: The veracity of any health claim made in the above article is the responsibility of the concerned hospital/doctor.