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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Aortic stenosis is a condition where the aortic valve in your heart is narrowed. The aortic valve is between the left ventricle and the aorta. The left ventricle is the lower left chamber of your heart. The aorta is a blood vessel that pumps blood to your head and body. The aortic valve opens and closes to direct blood flow through your heart. When the aortic valve is narrowed, blood flow may decrease. Your tissues and organs will not have enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly.
WHILE YOU ARE HERE:
is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
Keep the head of your bed raised to help you breathe easier. You can also raise your head and shoulders up on pillows or rest in a reclining chair. If you feel short of breath, let caregivers know right away.
You may need extra oxygen
if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
- Cholesterol medicine: This medicine will help decrease the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
- Antibiotics: This medicine will help fight or prevent an infection. You may need it if you had rheumatic fever in the past. You may need to take the medicine every day, or once a month.
- Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.
- Chest x-ray: This is used to check the size of your heart and look for fluid around your heart and lungs.
- EKG: This test records the electrical activity of your heart. It is used to check for abnormal heart rhythm caused by aortic stenosis.
- An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound. Sound waves are used to show the structure and function of your heart.
- A stress test may show the changes that take place in your heart while it is under stress. Stress may be placed on your heart with exercise or medicine. Ask for more information about this test.
- Cardiac catheterization: This procedure is done to find and treat heart blockages. A thin, bendable tube inserted is into your arm, neck, or groin and moved into your heart. An x-ray may be used to guide the tube to the right place. Dye may be put into your vein so the pictures show up better on a monitor. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
- Valvotomy: This helps widen your aortic valve and allow blood to flow through easier. A catheter (long thin tube) with a balloon on the tip is inserted through a small incision in your arm or groin. The catheter is guided through a blood vessel and into your left atrium near your aortic valve. When the balloon is inflated, it stretches the valve opening.
- Valvuloplasty: Healthcare providers make an incision in your chest to repair and widen your aortic valve. The valve walls are separated or calcium buildup is removed. This helps improve the blood flow through your heart.
- Replacement: Healthcare providers make an incision in your chest to replace your damaged aortic valve. Part or all of your aortic valve is removed, and a new valve is secured in place. The new valve may be from a donor (another person or animal), or may be a manmade valve.
Aortic stenosis may cause endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. Aortic stenosis can also cause congestive heart failure (CHF). This is when the heart cannot pump enough blood for the body. This may cause irregular heartbeats and can lead to cardiac arrest (the heart stops beating). This can be life-threatening.
CARE AGREEMENT:You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.