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Aortic Valve Replacement in Washington DC

What is Aortic Valve Replacement

There are four valves in your heart that help blood flow properly through your heart and back into your body. If there is an issue with one or more of your valves, you may be a candidate for an aortic valve replacement.

An aortic valve replacement is a type of heart surgery used to treat problems with the heart’s aortic valve, replacing a poor aortic valve with an artificial one.

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Am I a Candidate for Aortic Valve Replacement?

If you have a structural heart disease, you may be a candidate for an aortic valve replacement. When your aortic valve is working poorly you may need a replacement.

Two common conditions often needing an aortic valve replacement include:

  • Aortic stenosis – when your valve is unable to open fully, and less blood is able to exit your heart.
  • Aortic regurgitation – your valve is leaky. Some blood leaks backward through the valve instead of moving out to the rest of your body.

Both of these problems force the heart to work harder than it should to pump blood, causing low blood pressure, fainting, shortness of breath, and fatigue. These can result from general aging of the valve over time or genetic or other heart conditions.

Need for Surgery – Types of Aortic Valve Replacement

If you and Dr. Trujillo determine there is a need for surgery, you can work together to discuss the risks and benefits of moving forward.

Often if these valves are left untreated, there an be other complications such as passing out, dizziness, or other more serious issues.

If you decide to move forward with surgery, Dr. Trujillo will help explain the procedure in detail and help you feel at ease.

Transcatheter procedures – using small tubes and xray and ultrasound to guide repair or replacement

Traditional Surgery – The aortic valve replacement surgery is often an “open surgery” because it uses a traditional type of incision to expose your heart. This incision is larger than those in minimally invasive types of aortic valve replacement surgery. A heart-lung machine is used to oxygenate and pump blood during the procedure.

Options for Valves

As you plan for the surgery, you and your doctor  will decide what kind of valve will work best for you. Your surgeon will replace your valve with a biological valve or a mechanical valve.

Biological valves – made from human or animal tissue. They are not as durable but less likely to cause blood clots.

Mechanical valves – made from metals and other materials so they are highly durable. There is also a risk that they can cause blood clots. If you are given a mechanical valve, you will be required to take blood thinners for the rest of your life.

Your doctor will work with you to discuss your comfort level and preferences with these two types of valves. There are many factors to consider, and we will help you make a decision you feel confident with moving forward.

Benefits of Aortic Valve Replacement

As you decide to move forward with an aortic valve replacement, you are committing to a healthier you.

Often aortic valve disease and dysfunction get worse despite medical treatment. You may have done all you can, and it is now time for a better solution. Most aortic valve conditions are mechanical problems that can’t be successfully treated with medication alone.

Aortic valve conditions eventually require surgery to reduce symptoms and your risk of complications. Surgery may help you avoid heart failure, heart attack, stroke, or death due to sudden cardiac arrest.

How We Can Help

As we plan for your aortic valve replacement together, we want you to not only feel comfortable with your care team, but rest assured that we are well versed in the latest techniques and research. Heart surgery is our passion and our surgeons are constantly working on the latest changes and advancements in the heart industry.

Schedule a Consultation for an Aortic Valve Replacement in Washington DC

Our entire team is committed to your care, and we promise compassion, expertise, and exceptional clinical outcomes. If you have been diagnosed with an aortic condition, please call (301) 634-4800 or request an appointment online to discuss an aortic valve replacement with Dr. Trujillo today.