Aortic Valve Treatment Options
There is no medication treatment or drug therapy for aortic valve disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help relieve your symptoms; however, this is only a short-term solution.
Aortic valve surgery is the most effective treatment for aortic valve disease. Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for aortic valve replacement based on your medical condition and the severity of your disease.
In the majority of aortic valve disease cases, the valve is replaced with a tissue valve (from a cow or pig heart) or a mechanical valve. Aortic valve surgery can be performed using traditional/open heart valve surgery or minimally invasive surgical approaches. .
Traditional Open Heart Surgery is performed by making an incision through the breastbone to expose the heart. This approach provides the greatest versatility and visibility for the surgeon; however, there is an extended recovery period. Open heart surgery patients are restricted from driving for one month and have limited physical activities for three to six months.
Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Surgery allows the surgeon to access the valve through much smaller incisions causing less trauma and reduced recovery time.. The Heart Valve Center offers two different minimally invasive surgical options, mini thoracotomy and mini sternotomy.
- Mini-Thoracotomy requires a 5cm incision between the ribs with no need to cut the breastbone. Patients with a mini-thoracoatomy can return to driving immediately and return to normal activities after one to two weeks.
- Mini-Sternotomy requires a small incision through the breastbone. These patients can typically return to driving in one month and return to normal activities after three months.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), is the newest and least invasive approach. Currently this procedure, for treating severe aortic stenosis, is restricted to patients who are considered high risk or are not eligible for surgery.