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Aortic valve disease occurs when the valve that acts like a gateway between the heart and the aorta does not work properly. A damaged aortic valve can either block or leak blood being pumped from the heart, causing heart and circulatory problems. Aortic valve disease can happen because of a birth defect (bicuspid aortic valve), aging or as a result of an underlying disease.
Advanced Care for Aortic Valve Disease in Southern California
At the UCLA Aortic Center, our goal is to improve the quality of life of our patients with aortic valve disease. Our expert team manages the complications of aortic valve disease using the latest advancements in medicine and repairs the valve using both traditional and minimally invasive techniques. Surgeons at UCLA have helped pioneer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement to provide high-risk patients with an option for permanent repair.
- Modern facilities: LA’s most technologically advanced operating rooms
- Emergency care: Surgeons on-call 24/7 for evaluating and treating aortic valve disease
- Advanced Treatments: The latest treatment options for repairing aortic valve disease including Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
- Causes of Aortic Valve Disease
- Symptoms of Aortic Valve Disease
- Types of Aortic Valve Disease
- Expert Diagnosis of Aortic Valve Disease at UCLA
- Advanced Treatments for Aortic Valve Disease at UCLA
- Make an Appointment / Contact Us
Aortic valve disease can occur for many reasons. Some people are born with defects that prevent the valve from working properly. Sometimes the aortic valve simply wears out with age. Causes of aortic valve disease include:
- Birth defect (Bicuspid aortic valve)
- Marfan syndrome
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Renal failure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
People with aortic valve defects can have a variety of symptoms depending on whether blood is leaking into the heart (aortic regurgitation) or blood is restricted from passing into the aorta. People who suffer from aortic regurgitation can experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart palpitations
- Heart murmur
People with aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve) can have no symptoms for a long period of time. When symptoms do develop they include:
- Angina (chest pain due to lack of circulation)
- Heart failure
Doctors can often diagnosis aortic valve disease during a physical examination. The severity of the disease can be further assessed through imaging tests such as:
- Chest x-ray
- Cardiac catheterization
- Gated computed tomography
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
Learn more about what to expect during imaging tests.
While medication and lifestyle choices can help slow the progress of aortic stenosis, valve repair or replacement remains the only definitive treatment. At UCLA, our skilled surgeons perform traditional open valve replacement as well as the latest minimally invasive technique, called transcatheter valve implantation, to provide the best option for our patients.
- Aortic Valve Replacement—The surgeon accesses the diseased aortic valve through an incision in the sternum. The faulty valve is removed and an artificial valve replacement is inserted.
- Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)—The surgeon threads a catheter – a long, flexible tube – through an artery, usually in the groin or pelvis. A new valve is placed in the ascending aorta to restore aortic valve function. This minimally invasive technique leads to faster recovery.
You can request an appointment online or call the UCLA Aortic Center at 310-267-8234 (310-AORTAFIX).