The aortic valve works like a one-way gate. It opens so that blood can leave the heart and flow to the rest of the body. When the heart rests between beats, the aortic valve closes to keep blood from flowing backward into the heart. When the aortic valve does not close properly, some of the blood leaks back (regurgitates) through the valve into the heart. Then your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.
You can have this condition for many years before it gets worse and you have symptoms. Your doctor will monitor your heart, and you may need to take medicines. If the disease becomes severe, you may need to have surgery to replace the valve.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: September 21, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Michael P. Pignone, MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine
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