Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve, the valve that allows blood to flow from the heart's lower left chamber into the aorta and to the entire body. The narrowing prevents the valve from opening properly, forcing the heart to work harder. This causes pressure to build up in the lower left chamber of the heart, thickening the heart muscle. The pressure can lead to chest pain, blood backup into the lungs, and severe forms of the condition can prevent enough blood from reaching the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the pressure can lead to heart failure, fatigue and dizziness. Aortic stenosis can occur when calcium builds up on the valve over several years, making it thick and hard. It also can be caused by a heart defect or infections of the heart that can damage the valve. Aortic stenosis is not common and affects more men than women. It can occur in children less frequently. Severe cases often require surgery.

 

Why UAB

The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).

The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.

 

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CLINICAL TRIALS

UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for aortic stenosis. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials