Severe aortic valve stenosis is the significant narrowing of the aortic valve opening. Over time, the valve leaflets can become stiff, reducing their ability to fully open and close, thus restricting blood flow out of the heart. When this happens, your heart must work harder to move blood throughout the body. This additional workload may eventually overwhelm the heart and cause it to fail.
The symptoms most frequently associated with severe aortic valve stenosis include:
Shortness of breath
Difficulty when exercising or completing
Chest pain, pressure, or tightness
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
The only effective treatment for severe aortic valve stenosis is to replace the aortic valve. If the diseased valve is not replaced, your symptoms will probably worsen to heart failure and possibly even death.
What Is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a nonsurgical procedure to replace the aortic valve without open-heart surgery. To access your heart, your doctor will make a small incision in your artery and insert a small, hollow tube.
Although the femoral artery in your groin is often chosen, there are arteries in the chest and neck that lead to the heart as well.