Heart disorders have become more common nowadays and even affect the younger population. However, diseases that ail the heart valves are more lethal than others. Our heart has four valves, which are tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic valve. They help to keep blood flowing smoothly in the correct direction with their flap-like doors or leaflets. These valves open when blood pressure changes and close securely to prevent backflow in the opposite direction.
But in heart valve disease, one or more of the valves won’t open sufficiently or close evenly, causing the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted. Both men and women can suffer from heart valve disease, but it may affect them differently and usually depend on the type of diseased valve. Here’s everything you need to know about one of the most common heart valve diseases that require intervention from the best general surgeon in Jaipur
What is Aortic Valve Insufficiency?
Also known as aortic valve regurgitation, it’s a common type of valvular heart disease caused due to defect in the heart’s pumping chamber or main artery, aortic valve. It stops blood from flowing back into the left ventricle that pumps oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the body. The aortic valve insufficiencytriggers tightening of the aortic valve leaflet, which reduces the blood flow from the heart into the aorta and other parts of the body. However, some blood leaks back through the valve as the heart relaxes instead of flowing backwards into the left ventricle. Due to the heart inefficiency in pumping out blood, severe health conditions can get triggered, including stroke and heart failure.
When the aortic valve suddenly starts leaking, the heart doesn’t have time to get used to the leak in the valve. But with time, the heart gets used to the leak and becomes chronic aortic valve regurgitation. However, aortic valve insufficiency can also be acute and occurs more often with age in both men and women.
What are the symptoms of Aortic Valve Insufficiency?
Various noticeable and subtle symptoms can indicate the development of aortic valve insufficiency. However, some of these symptoms may not show up for years and only occur when the damage progresses. When your condition becomes severe, you may experience symptoms that get worse with time, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty in breathing while lying on back
- Weakness and fatigue
- Unusual heartbeat or heart palpitations
- Swelling in ankles, feet, abdomen, and the neck veins
- Chest pain with tightness
If your condition becomes much severe, it may become a medical emergency and includes symptoms like:
- Shock symptoms such as pale skin, unconsciousness, or rapid breathing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Irregular heart rhythms that prevent the heart from pumping blood effectively
Without timely intervention, aortic valve insufficiency can also lead to heart attack, stroke and even heart failure. Therefore, you should immediately visit the best heart hospital in Jaipur to prevent further complications.
How is aortic valve insufficiency diagnosed?
The diagnosis requires an observation of symptoms and the overall health of the patient in a physical examination. During the physical examination, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and symptoms you’re experiencing for a long time. The diagnosis will also include a few more tests, such as:
- Chest X-ray to determine if the left ventricular has become enlarged.
- Echocardiogram to create an image of our heart through sonic sound waves and evaluate the condition of the heart valves and heart chambers while beating.
- Electrocardiogram to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart and disease’s impact on the heart and lungs.
- Cardiac Catheterization to assess the flow and pressure of blood through the heart chambers.
- Stress testing to assess the functional capacity of the aortic valve
- CT or MRI scan to find any sign of damage or tearing of the aorta
How is aortic valve insufficiency treated?
If you have a mild form of this condition, you may need only medicines to lower blood pressure and maintain the heart’s rhythm. If you have an enlarged left ventricular, you may also need diuretics to reduce swelling in the affected area. But in severe aortic valve insufficiency, you’ll need surgery to replace the affected valve through a heart valve replacement surgery. Hence, it’s crucial to closely follow up with the best general surgeon in Jaipur to ensure surgery is the right option for you.