Dr. Oz: What is Aortic Stenosis?
Dr. Oz put a spotlight on a patient he had named Diana, a 54-year-old woman who came to the hospital with a stuck aortic valve that wouldn’t let enough blood through. She had shortness of breath that happened whenever she went up the stairs. Dr. Oz explained that her aortic valve didn’t open all the way or close all the way. It was just in the way. It made the heart work harder than it should have to work. As a result, the mitral valve in her heart was leaking. Dr. Oz said that she should have surgery right away because she had dizziness and shortness of breath. This is because it’s a serious health risk that could kill her. He said he would recommend the surgery within a month.
Dr. Oz: Aortic Valve Replacement
When you have dizziness with aortic stenosis, which is what Diana had, it means she wasn’t getting enough blood to her brain. She was just a few steps from collapsing every time she felt the dizziness. So Dr. Oz’s prognosis was surgery to replace her aortic valve in order to fix the problem. He also wanted to repair the mitral valve. If he didn’t repair the mitral valve properly, her lungs could be flooded, causing her to be short of breath for the rest of her life.
Dr. Oz: Repairing Mitral Valve
Dr. Oz explained to Diana’s family that her mitral valve was leaking a lot and that there was a possibility repairing her mitral valve wouldn’t work. If he couldn’t fix it, he would have to replace it with a metal valve. That would mean she would be on blood thinners for the rest of her life, which carries a risk of stroke.
Dr. Oz said that heart surgery is like a military campaign. You don’t want to have to make a lot of decisions in the middle of a battle. You want to already have the decisions made so you can just go in and hit your targets.
Dr. Oz: What Is Mitral Valve Prolapse?
Dr. Oz explained after the clip that he was able to replace her aortic valve, but the mitral valve was problematic. Mitral valve dysfunction is a problem for many women. In Diana’s case, one of the mitral valves was a little floppy, which meant every time the heart squeezed, the blood snapped back and caused vibrations throughout the back of the heart. The description of this feeling often sounds like anxiety or a panic attack to doctors, but is something more serious called mitral valve prolapse. Doctors can detect this by conducting a simple stethoscope exam. Then, doctors do an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis.
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