Whenever a patient is diagnosed with severe aortic valve disease, it is tough to think about the best available option. That is due to the fact that this is a time filled with emotional stress and confusion. In order to find a very good doctor, you first need to learn a few facts about the conditions. Only after that you can stay focused on choosing the best doctor.
More About The Conditions
Aortic Stenosis basically means that your aortic valve is currently severely stiff and calcified. It is not able to open wide enough. The severely stenotic valve only allows blood to flow through an area that is really small. It will lead to a hissing sound, which is medically referred to as “murmur”. Your heart will eventually get tired because of the fact that it needs to always work harder to push blood through your body. Surgery is necessary if the heart works too hard.
Aortic Regurgitation Or Insufficiency is basically the opposite situation. Your valve will be frozen while open or will be too stretched, not being able to close as much as it should. We normally refer to this as being leaky valve. Your heart will struggle to maintain suitable forward flow as part of oxygenated blood leaks backwards. The heart enlarges and eventually becomes really weak. Surgery will be necessary in order to prevent the heart from losing strength.
According to Keyhole Heart Clinic, you need to never fool yourself. When faced with these conditions, surgery is almost always necessary. There are 2 main surgical treatments that are usually considered:
- Aortic valve repair – usually when faced with aortic insufficiency
- Aortic valve replacement
In select cases the Ross Procedure can also be used. Also, based on the situation you are faced with, the doctor can use minimally invasive techniques in order to offer better results and faster recovery for patients that are affected.
Choosing A Surgeon
This is complicated because of the factors that we already highlighted above. It is obvious that you want to work with the surgeon that brings in the highest possible success rate and that really knows what he is doing. With this in mind, here are some questions you need to ask the doctor so that you can make an appropriate choice:
- Can I use minimally invasive aortic valve surgery?
- How many such procedures did you do in the past and what were the results?
- Will you perform the surgery or someone else?
- What type of repair or valve is suggested and why is that?
- Is it possible to talk to a past patient?
As you surely noticed, we did not mention anything about costs. That is due to the fact that it is normal to pay a little more for the services of a really good heart surgeon. Remember that where the operation will take place counts. Try to learn all that you can about the surgeon and about the clinic. That is what will help you to make the best decision.