Treatments for a stiff, narrow aortic valve

Ask the doctor

Published: June, 2020

Q. I'm 74, and my doctor says severe aortic stenosis is causing me to feel breathless and faint, and that I need treatment soon: either surgery or something called TAVR. Neither sounds particularly appealing. Can't I just take medicine?

A. The heart pumps blood through the aortic valve and out to the rest of the body. With severe aortic stenosis, the aortic valve gets stiff and narrow, and the heart can't pump enough blood to the body. That's a problem.

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