Pulmonary stenosis, also known as pulmonary valve stenosis, is a rare disorder of the heart’s pulmonary valve that slows or restricts the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs. The pulmonary valve is the tissue separating the pulmonary artery from the lower right chamber of the heart (the right ventricle). This valve controls blood flow to the lungs. Stenosis refers to the narrowing of the valve, which affects its ability to expand or open wide enough to allow normal flow of blood to the lungs.
In mild cases of pulmonary stenosis, the restricted blood flow could lead to a heart murmur. In more severe cases, additional symptoms such as fatigue and fainting may be present, which worsen with exercise or activity and may require surgery to correct. Pulmonary stenosis is most often found in infants as a heart defect that developed during the fetal stage. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to have a genetic connection. Adults may develop pulmonary stenosis as a complication of other disorders or illnesses, but this is less common. Depending of the severity of the condition, pulmonary stenosis can be treated with medication or surgery, but mild cases may not require treatment.
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.
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