Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve, the valve that allows blood to flow from the heart's lower left chamber into the aorta and to the entire body. The narrowing prevents the valve from opening properly, forcing the heart to work harder. This causes pressure to build up in the lower left chamber of the heart, thickening the heart muscle. The pressure can lead to chest pain, blood backup into the lungs, and severe forms of the condition can prevent enough blood from reaching the brain and the rest of the body. Eventually, the pressure can lead to heart failure, fatigue and dizziness. Aortic stenosis can occur when calcium builds up on the valve over several years, making it thick and hard. It also can be caused by a heart defect or infections of the heart that can damage the valve. Aortic stenosis is not common and affects more men than women. It can occur in children less frequently. Severe cases often require surgery.
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Program is the oldest and largest program of its kind in Alabama. It provides ongoing care – sometimes for life – to patients who have or are at risk for structural heart and valve disease. Our experienced surgeons and cardiologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating this condition, and their expertise ranges from traditional open-heart surgery to robotic-assisted valve repair and the latest in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts).
The UAB Structural Heart & Valve Clinic has achieved several important milestones in the past decade. In 2012, we performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in Alabama, and UAB has performed more TAVR procedures than any other hospital in the state. As an added service, patients who have been told by non-UAB doctors that they need valve surgery can speak to a UAB structural heart and valve surgeon for a second opinion.
Ernest Tate/TAVR Procedure - Chapter 2
The surgeons and interventional cardiologists of UAB's structural heart program repaired a serious heart issue with minimally invasive techniques instead of traditional open heart surgery.
James Moebes: TAVR Procedure
Wade Gladden - Aortic Valve Stenosis
Charles Estes - Aortic Valve Stenosis
89 year old Charles Estes was not about to let a heart valve problem slow him down. The WWII vet volunteered to be the first person in Alabama to undergo a new minimally invasive procedure for aortic valve replacement.
Transcathether Aortic Valve Replacement procedure puts Selma, Alabama's first black police chief closer to tending his farm.
TAVR procedure restores ailing heart valves
When Sarah Ford found out she needed heart surgery, she made the drive from her home in Dothan to Birmingham to receive treatment at UAB. The experienced surgeons, compassionate staff, and cutting-edge care at UAB made her feel secure and safe.
For patients with aortic valve stenosis, who cannot undergo open heart surgery, the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure provides a welcome alternative.
More than 7% of Americans over the age of 65 are afflicted with aortic stenosis—or hardening of the aortic valve—and more than 1,000 of them are ineligible for traditional open heart surgery to repair it. The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure eliminates the need for open heart surgery and results in a shorter recovery time.
Heart valve disease affects patients of all ages, but there are effective treatments and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your condition.
Heart Valve Disease
The heart has four valves that are responsible for keeping blood moving through its chambers and around the body. James Davies, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UAB, talks to Daytime Alabama on WVTM-TV, Channel 13, in Birmingham, Ala., about how valve disease can be prevented, detected, and treated.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for aortic stenosis. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
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Meet UAB’s First NEXUS Aortic Arch Graft Recipient