Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, September 29
As per studies, medicines have a limited role in valve dysfunction since it is a purely mechanical problem. The traditional approach has been to replace it with a new artificial valve through an open-heart surgery. However, treatment methodologies are evolving now, and the reach of cardiovascular medicine is more expansive than ever.
On World Heart Day, there is a need to raise awareness on the availability of non-surgical treatment options such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) with better health outcome for patients of aortic stenosis.
Speaking about this, Dr Bishav Mohan, Professor, Cardiology, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, said, “The human heart has four valves. Each valve is supposed to allow unrestricted unidirectional blood flow. Diseases affecting a valve may not allow it to either open properly (stenosis), leading to restricted forward blood flow or close properly allowing blood to leak backward (regurgitation). In either case, if severe, it produces undue stress on the heart. Aortic valve controls the blood flow to the body. Aortic stenosis occurs when this valve does not open as it should. This makes your heart work harder to pump blood through your body affecting your health and limiting normal daily activities. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a procedure where an artificial valve is implanted in place of the diseased aortic valve using a non-surgical approach.”
“The concept of implanting an artificial valve in place of the native diseased valve is not restricted to just the aortic valve. Catheter-based therapies are being developed for other valves as well. Minimally invasive therapy adds value to patient care by not only treating what’s needed, but doing so with lesser operative risk and greater patient comfort. Patients typically spend lesser number of days in the hospital, recover faster and can get back to routine activities sooner. While the benefits are obvious, catheter-based therapies are not for everyone. Each patient’s candidacy is determined based on the individual clinical profile. The primary emphasis should, however, be on prevention,” he added.
Some tips to prevent aortic stenosis
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle that keeps diseases in check.
- Take steps to prevent rheumatic fever. For those who have a recurring sore throat, it is important to consult a specialist at the earliest as over time, it can lead to rheumatic fever.
- Address risk factors that can predispose you to heart problems. Keep your vitals, including blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels, under check. People with existing heart problems or a family history of the condition should be more careful.
- Take care of your teeth and gums. Inflammation of heart tissue caused by any related infection can narrow arteries and aggravate aortic valve stenosis.
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