Bicuspid Aortic Valve
A form of defect in the heart’s aortic valve is known as the “bicuspid aortic valve”, and it’s a condition that you’re born with. As opposed to the typical three leaflets, an aortic valve with a bicuspid valve only has two tiny leaflets. The left ventricle (the lower chamber of the heart) and the aorta (the major artery of the body) are divided by the aortic valve (aorta). Each pulse causes cusps of tissue on the valve to open and shut, ensuring that blood flows in the desired direction. Sometimes, some people have a unicuspid or four-cusped aortic valve at birth. Bicuspid aortic valves are present in a very tiny percentage of the population. However, it is one of the most serious congenital malformations of the heart.
Heart issues brought on by a bicuspid aortic valve may include:
- Blood flow from the heart to the body may be slowed or obstructed if the valve is not fully open.
- Blood can flow backwards when the bicuspid aortic valve doesn’t shut tightly.
- The aorta can enlarge in certain patients with bicuspid aortic valves, which raises the possibility of an aortic lining tear.
Primary Causes of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
There is usually a family history of bicuspid aortic valves. As a result, a gene deficiency might be to blame. Additionally, it could occur if a mother is exposed to specific diseases or medications when she is expecting a child. All first-degree relatives should get echocardiography once if they are identified as having a bicuspid aortic valve so that the condition of their valve may be evaluated.
The bicuspid aortic valve may be more prone to issues depending on a number of circumstances. Here are a few of them:
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
Symptoms of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
There could be no symptoms for a very long period if the valve can initially open and close normally. Sometimes symptoms don’t start to appear till later in life. Many times, bicuspid aortic valves are found in adulthood when the patient has no idea they even had one. However, significant signs may show up quickly after delivery if a kid is born with an extremely thin aortic valve. The valve may get tougher to open, or it may start to leak more over time.
Symptoms of Bicuspid Aortic Valve include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath with exertion
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Inability to exercise
These signs might resemble those of other medical conditions. For a diagnosis, consult the board-certified and highly experienced healthcare providers at Apollo Hospital, Karnataka.
Diagnosis of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
Your medical history and symptoms will be examined by the doctor at Apollo Hospital, Karnataka. A physical examination generally involves attentively listening to the heart with a stethoscope. If your doctor hears a heart murmur, it may be a sign that more testing is required. This testing includes:
- Echocardiography – The most crucial test to demonstrate how blood flows through the valve. On a computer screen, moving pictures of the heart are produced by echocardiography using sound waves.
- Electrocardiogram – To assess the electrical rhythm of the heart. Your throat will be numbed by the doctor before a transducer is inserted into your oesophagus.
- Chest X-ray – To look at the lungs and heart’s structure.
- Cardiac CT or MRI – If further information regarding the heart, aorta, or valve is required.
Treatment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
Treatment options include routine visits to your cardiologist and valve repair or replacement surgery, depending on the severity of your bicuspid aortic valve. Your doctor may decide to periodically have echocardiography done to keep a constant check on you. He or she might need to perform this testing as frequently as once a year if your condition is getting more serious.
You might need to replace or fix the valve if symptoms are present. These operations are sometimes carried out by doctors as open heart surgery. Others could need the valve to be repaired via a technique using a long, thin tube (catheter), which your doctor may suggest. In order to reach the aortic valve, this tube is inserted into a blood artery. For the rest of their lives, patients with artificial valves may be advised by their doctors to take blood thinners to avoid developing blood clots in their hearts. Occasionally, doctors will replace damaged valves with donor valves taken from the deceased. Other times, artificial valves are used.
Every treatment and surgical technique has specific risks and advantages. Discuss what is sensible for you with the concerned doctor at Apollo Hospital, Karnataka. Your doctor or surgeon might suggest that you take part in cardiac rehabilitation following aortic valve surgery. This 12-week course covers nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle techniques to maintain heart health.
How to manage a Bicuspid Aortic Valve?
Your doctor may give you further instructions for taking care of your bicuspid aortic valve and any other heart conditions you may already have. These include:
- Adhering to a heart-healthy diet
- Regular Exercise
- Avoid Smoking
- Maintaining proper oral hygiene
- Having 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night
- Controlling blood glucose levels
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Lowering daily sodium intake to no more than 1500 milligrammes
Visit your healthcare professional right away if your symptoms are progressively becoming worse.
Bicuspid Aortic Valve treatment at Apollo Hospital, Karnataka
Our multidisciplinary team at Apollo Hospital, Karnataka, which includes top cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing staff, and other supporting staff, has years of expertise in successfully completing this sophisticated surgical operation. To guarantee positive outcomes for our patients, Apollo Hospital, Karnataka, possesses cutting-edge imaging technologies and world-class facilities. We also provide a full range of comprehensive cardiac care treatments with an integrated patient-centric approach.