Posted by: Bonzo | 2004/02/26

Aortic valve needs to be replaced - any advice?

I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve and now at 47 I have developed aortic stenosis. At what stage do I need to have it replaced and which valve option should I choose?
I lead a very active life and love scuba diving. Will I still be able to do this after the replacement op?
Who are the cadiac sugeons that specialise or are best at this type of op?
Both my parents had very successful heart bypass ops but both dies within a year of the op of cancer - how can I make sure this does not happen to me should I need to have the aortic valve replacement op??

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Our expert says:
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Bonzo, the valve only needs to be replaced if you suffer symptoms like shortness of breath, tiredness, and inability to exercise the way you used to, or if there are signs of heart failure, heart enlargement, respiratory problems, etc.
I can’t really advice you on which type of valve you should choose as I don’t have all the relevant information at my disposal.
You should be able to continue with the scuba if there are no other problems.
Your doctor will be able to refer you to a good cardio-thoracic surgeon in your area.
I doubt that there is a correlation between the bypass operations and cancer, so you don’t really have to worry about that. Good luck.

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