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Aortic Stenosis Bringing Down the Risks - BM Birla Hospital

Normally, a heart has 3 Aortic Stenosis is a condition marked by severe blockage or obstruction in the aortic valve that may hinder the normal flow of blood from the heart to the aorta. As the valve narrows down, the heart has to work harder to keep the blood flowing to different organs of our body. This can lead to the thickening of the ventricular muscles and give rise to life-threatening complications. TAVI surgery in Kolkata has helped countless patients suffering from aortic stenosis and given them a healthier chance at life. It is pertinent to note that aortic stenosis can be triggered by a number of reasons, however, the good news is that we can significantly lower the risks by adhering to some healthy lifestyle changes. 

Symptoms that should not be taken for granted: 

As per the leading TAVI surgeons in Kolkata, patients suffering from aortic stenosis might not always experience any major symptoms and can even be asymptomatic. The adversity of the symptoms is directly proportional to the adversity of the patient’s condition and these may vary from person to person. Here is a list of few symptoms that you need to look out for:

  • Heart murmur or abnormal heart sound that can be heard with the help of a stethoscope
  • Angina, i.e. severe and persistent chest pain that that aggravates with activity
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Breathlessness or trouble breathing 
  • Palpitations caused by rapid or fluttering heartbeats
  • Loss of appetite, which is mainly seen in children

What causes aortic stenosis? 

Here are 3 major causes of aortic stenosis, as listed by the experts from the best heart hospital in Kolkata

  • Congenital heart defect – Congenital heart defects are those that are present since birth, i.e. a child is born with these. Normally, an aortic valve is tricuspid, i.e. it has 3 cusps. However, some children might be born with a bicuspid aortic valve, i.e. one that has only 2 cusps. Having 1 or 4 cusps is quite rare. Children suffering from such problems need to go for regular heart assessments. Though the problem may not cause any major complication until adulthood, certain precautions are to be taken from the very beginning. As the valve continues to become narrow and starts to leak, the patient may need to get it repaired or replaced. This is done surgically via procedures like TAVI. 
  • Excessive build-up of calcium – We all know that calcium is important for our bones but too much of everything is bad. Excessive calcium present in our blood has a tendency to stick to the heart valves and accumulate. This is commonly referred to as aortic valve calcification. Though the calcium deposits do not usually cause a problem until the patient crosses 60 to 70 years of age, for those with a congenital aortic valve defect the problems may start at a younger age.
  • Rheumatic fever – Rheumatic fever is a complication triggered by strep throat infection in kids. This can lead to the formation of scar tissue on the aortic valve, which not only narrows it down but also promotes calcification. Rheumatic fever can damage multiple valves in more than one way. 

Do you fall into the risk category?

Here are a few factors that can increase your risks of developing aortic valve stenosis

  • Advanced age, as the condition is more likely to affect elderlies
  • Having a history of a chronic infection involving the heart
  • Having an underlying cardiovascular ailment like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol
  • Chronic renal ailment
  • Severe infection involving the heart

What you can do to bring down the risks of aortic stenosis? 

  • Take all the precautions to prevent rheumatic fever. Do not take your throat problems for granted and consult an expert when you have a sore throat. Strep throat, if left untreated for long, can develop into rheumatic fever. Hence it is important to take the prescribed dose of antibiotics religiously.
  • If you have any underlying cardiovascular ailment like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, try to keep these under control by making healthy lifestyle and dietary modifications.
  • Take care of your oral hygiene as bacteria and germs present in your mouth can easily enter the bloodline and infect the heart. Doctors even point towards a possible link between gingivitis and endocarditis.

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