Aortic Stenosis

Aortic Stenosis

What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve, which is the valve for the main artery coming out of the left side of the heart called the aorta. Aortic stenosis is one of the most common heart valve abnormalities. In the early stages, it requires no treatment, just monitoring with serial heart scans (transthoracic echocardiograms). Aortic stenosis is graded as mild, moderate or severe. Once disease becomes severe, monitoring will become more frequent and as soon as symptoms develop or heart function showed any sign of deterioration then treatment should be considered.

What are the symptoms of aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis can be asymptomatic (without symptoms). More commonly as aortic stenosis become severe, patients develop shortness of breath on exertion. More severe symptoms include breathlessness on minimal exertion, chest pain, dizziness and blackouts.

How is aortic stenosis assessed?

Patients with aortic stenosis usually have a heart murmur which can be detected with the stethoscope. Some assessment of severity can be made by listening to the characteristics of the murmur, however the best method for assessing aortic stenosis severity in most patients is a transthoracic echocardiogram.

How is aortic stenosis treated?

Medication can help the symptoms of aortic stenosis but it does not alter the progression of the disease. The only way to definitively treat it is to replace the aortic valve, with surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

What experience does Dr Dawkins have in the management of aortic stenosis?

Dr Dawkins sees and treats hundreds of patients with aortic stenosis every year. He is a high volume operator for one of the treatments for aortic stenosis, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). He also runs the TAVI multidisciplinary meeting, a meeting of experts were all new referrals with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis being assessed for TAVI are discussed.

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    Dr Dawkins has private clinics in Oxford at the Nuffield Manor Hospital and in London at Cleveland Clinic London. Please get in touch if you would like to make an appointment. We can usually arrange to see you within a few days. For urgent appointments, a same-day visit or telephone consultation can often be arranged. To arrange an appointment, please complete this form or call us on 020 7205 2024 (London) or 01865 598040 (Oxford).