The Best Option In Severe Aortic Stenosis Is Surgery

by:FLOS     2020-06-05
When a patient is confronted with the diagnosis of severe aortic stenosis he or she often wonders if surgery can be safely postponed or even avoided. It is only natural for most people to view any open heart surgery as the evil to be avoided at all costs. Nothing is further from the truth in the case of severe aortic stenosis. Timely minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is a true life saver at any age and should be pursued in the best interest of every severe aortic stenosis patient before it is too late. This article will outline the current recommendations for a safe and reliable treatment of this deadly disease and show you how the current minimally invasive options can safely and reliably return most patients to their homes and families two to three days after surgery with very little pain and a hardly noticeable scar. The most common cause of aortic stenosis is calcific degenerative changes and it is commonly found in elderly patients. Up to 4% of the population over the age of 75 are affected by this valve pathology.There is also a less common group of patients who were born with a defective aortic valve formed with two cusps (Bicuspid Aortic Valve or BAV) instead of the normal three. These patients can develop severe aortic stenosis or insufficiency much earlier than the calcific degenerative type. In the old time there were also many cases of rheumatic valve disease that are now uncommon because of the widespread use of antibiotics in all cases of strep throat infections. The biggest misconception among patients, their relatives and at times even their doctors is that severe aortic stenosis can be safely treated medically rather than surgically. That is such a shame, especially now that minimally invasive aortic valve surgery is available. I'll summarize the most important piece of statistics about this topic with two glaring statistical realities: Symptomatic Severe Aortic Stenosis carries a 75% mortality in two years with medical therapy (lasix, beta-blockers, etc.). Three quarters of patients with this diagnosis will pass away within two years. Symptomatic Severe Aortic Stenosis treated with surgery (Aortic Valve Replacement) carries an average mortality of 2-3% and can restore a normal life expectancy In other words, the decision to avoid surgery and pursue only medical therapy is about 25 to 35 times more dangerous than surgery itself. As counterintuitive as it may sound to most of you, choosing surgery to treat an elderly patient is truly a no-brainer. Grandma or Grandpa are too old and frail to survive severe aortic stenosis and should get operated on before it is too late. New minimally invasive techniques are now available to afford even the elderly and frail patients a quick and uneventful recovery. Most reputable minimally invasive aortic valve surgery centers can help you or your loved one acquire the necessary information to treat this disease with a less invasive approach.
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