Medications cannot slow or reverse the scarring and calcification process that leads to aortic valve stenosis. Nevertheless, patients with the disease should take antibiotics before dental and other medical procedures to prevent bacterial endocarditis. Some patients may require medications to control arrhythmias (heart beat irregularities) such as atrial fibrillation.
The most important medical advice for people with mild to moderate aortic stenosis is to carefully discuss and review with their doctors any changes in symptoms. Patients with moderate aortic stenosis should have their condition checked every 6 to12 months.
Once symptoms develop, the only effective treatment for adults is surgical replacement of the aortic valve. Without surgery, people with symptoms from severe aortic stenosis usually will live for no more than a few years.
After surgery, most patients experience a marked improvement in their symptoms for many years, but surgery is not without risks or complications.
Balloon valvuloplasty is usually reserved for those people who are poor candidates for surgery or as an intermediate procedure to stabilize high-risk patients prior to surgery. Valve replacement is usually not indicated for patients who are asymptomatic unless they have severely narrowed valves or evidence of heart failure.
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