A woman sitting behind a teacher's desk, pointing to the chalkboard behind her which shows a drawing of an anatomical Heart with aortic valve replacement.

Community Views: Aortic Stenosis and Aortic Valve Replacement

Have you been diagnosed with aortic stenosis? Has your doctor recommended aortic valve replacement as a treatment option?

We recently asked the members of several of our support communities whether they have experience living with aortic stenosis or have had a valve replacement procedure. Many community members shared their experiences. The following are just a few.

Why do some people need aortic valve replacement?

Many people need aortic valve replacement when their aortic valve has narrowed and doesn't fully open. This is called aortic stenosis. Symptoms of aortic stenosis can include heart murmur, chest pain, feeling faint or dizzy, and shortness of breath.1

Several community members had valve replacement for serious conditions like aortic stenosis.

"I had aortic valve surgery last year. I would have died if I didn't have surgery." – CardiovascularDisease.net Community Member

"I have had aortic valve replacement. Doc said it was from having rheumatic fever as a child and no one knew it." – COPD.net Community Member

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"I had bicuspid aortic stenosis. I was born with this. I’m now 55. I’ve lived a very active life. [At] my last scan in early 2020, I was classed as extreme but not symptomatic, so [I was] placed [in a clinical trial] and was randomized as watch and wait in April. Then, in June 2020, I went downhill very quickly and had a valve replacement. [I'm] now on blood thinners daily but so much better. Thinking back, I was probably symptomatic, but as I’ve always had this, I didn't notice." – RheumatoidArthritis.net Community Member

Some people will have their aortic valve replaced with a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. Keep reading to learn more.

TAVR? What's that?

TAVR is a procedure in which an aortic valve of the heart is replaced. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that is used when an aortic valve is too narrow (aortic stenosis) for enough blood to pass through the heart to the rest of the body. A TAVR procedure can help treat the symptoms of aortic stenosis, which can include chest pain and shortness of breath.2

Several community members responded saying they have had a TAVR procedure or are waiting for one. Here's what these members had to say about their experiences with TAVR.

"I am in prep for a TAVR for my aortic valve. Everyone I've spoken with has praise for the recovery and subsequent life. I'm excited." – Type2Diabetes.com Community Member

"I’ve had aortic valve replacement. I had TAVR. It was amazingly easy for my recovery." – MacularDegeneration.net Community Member

Life after TAVR

Several members mentioned how easy recovery from TAVR was for themselves, for their patients, or for their loved ones.

"I had the TAVR procedure. Recovery was a breeze. I have an echocardiogram once a year to make sure it is working correctly. Thankfully, it is still working as it should. I am so fortunate that I could have TAVR instead of open heart surgery." – COPD.net Community Member

"Husband goes for his 1-year post-TAVR check up on Friday. Everything went well, no problems. His only complaint was hospital food was terrible. Not sure why he complained; he wasn't there long. He feels great! Easy peasy!" – Type2Diabetes.com Community Member

"My patient had TAVR done almost 2 years ago at 92 years old. He went from 20 percent of his valve working to 80 percent post-surgery. He’s still doing great! Recovery was very easy!" – Type2Diabetes.com Community Member

Talk to your doctor about your treatment options

If you have been diagnosed with aortic stenosis, be sure to talk to your healthcare team about your treatment options. Aortic stenosis can lead to heart failure and be life-threatening when severe, so it is important to discuss symptoms and treatment options with your doctor promptly.

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.

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