Regular checkups by a health provider may be all that is needed if your symptoms are not severe. The health care provider should ask about your health history, do a physical exam, and perform an echocardiogram.
People with severe aortic stenosis may be told not to play competitive sports, even if they have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, strenuous activity must often be limited.
Medicines are used to treat symptoms of heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms (most commonly atrial fibrillation). These include diuretics (water pills), nitrates, and beta-blockers. High blood pressure should also be treated. If aortic stenosis is severe, this treatment must be done carefully so blood pressure does not drop too far.
In the past, most people with heart valve problems were given antibiotics before dental work or a procedure such as colonoscopy. The antibiotics were given to prevent an infection of the damaged heart. However, antibiotics are now used much less often before dental work and other procedures. Check with your health care provider to find out whether you need antibiotics.
People with this and other heart conditions should stop smoking and be tested for high cholesterol.
Surgery to repair or replace the valve is often done for adults or children who develop symptoms. Even if symptoms are not very bad, the doctor may recommend surgery based on test results.
A less invasive procedure called balloon valvuloplasty may be done instead of surgery.
- A balloon is placed into an artery in the groin, threaded to the heart, placed across the valve, and inflated. However, narrowing often occurs again after this procedure.
- A newer procedure done at the same time as valvuloplasty can implant an artificial valve. This procedure is most often done in patients who cannot have surgery, but it is becoming more common.
Some children may need aortic valve repair or replacement. Children with mild aortic stenosis may be able to take part in most activities.