Your Patients May Be Asking about Aortic Valve Replacement -- Top 10 Patient Education Sites

With Barbara Walters' announcement that she is scheduled to undergo surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve (most likely caused by stenosis of the aortic valve, according to Sara Sirna, MD, of the Temple Heart Center), your patients may be asking you questions about stenosis, aortic valve replacement surgery, mitral valve regurgitation, and a other related topics.

Top 10 Patient Education Sites

With Barbara Walters’ announcement Monday that she is scheduled to undergo surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve (most likely caused by stenosis of the aortic valve, according to Sara Sirna, MD, of the Temple Heart Center), your patients may be asking you questions about stenosis, aortic valve replacement surgery, mitral valve regurgitation, and a other related topics. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 online educational resources for patients who want to know more about these topics.

What Actually Happens during the Surgery?

Click here to view a video with transcript of aortic valve replacement surgery performed by Bruce Lytle, MD, Chairman, Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Miller Family Hear & Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery

Jamie Brown, MD, associate professor of surgery, Aortic Valve Surgery Program, Maryland Heart Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, offers a good overview of aortic valve repair and replacement options and explains the differences between aortic valve bypass, a percutaneous aortic valve procedure, and “the Ross procedure.” Visitors to this site can also read a transcript of a Q&A with Dr. Brown, patient success stories, and watch a webcast of a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement surgery.

Aortic Valve Replacement: A Comprehensive Look at a Relatively Common Cardiac Procedure

Patients should visit this website to learn about types of aortic valve replacements, instruments used during the procedures, preparing for surgery, possible complications, quality-of-life issues, and more.

Aortic Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation

What is aortic valve stenosis, how does it affect normal heart function, and what causes it? What if aortic stenosis or regurgitation worsens over time? How can this condition be treated? Answers to these questions and others frequently asked by patients may be found at the American Heart Association website.

Deciding Whether to Replace a Heart Valve with a Mechanical or Biological One

Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, J. Michael Duncan, MD, says that “mechanical and biological valves each have advantages and disadvantages” and ultimately patients must weigh the risks and benefits, consult with their physician, and then make the decision themselves.

Mayo Clinic: Patient Stories of Heart Valve Surgery

Three patients share stories about the illnesses that led to cardiac complications and the valve replacement surgeries that saved their lives.

Society of Thoracic Surgeons: What Is Aortic Valve Replacement, Who Is a Candidate for Surgery, and What Are the Risks Involved?

This site also offers answers to other important questions, including “What Causes an Aortic Valve to Malfunction?” “What Options Exist for the Replacement of Artificial Valves?” and “What Will My Condition Be Like After Aortic Valve Replacement?”

Cardiovascular Replacement Therapy in Children

Parents will find information about diseases that can affect children’s heart valves, explanations of treatment options, an overview of post-op quality of life issues, information about treatment costs, and more.

Cognitive Effects of Aortic Valve Replacement

“When the aortic valve is severely damaged, surgeons can replace it with either a mechanical prosthetic valve or a biological valve from a pig, a cow or a human donor. Many patients report significant improvements in their general health, but for some, there are disconcerting cognitive effects.”

Mechanical vs. Tissue Aortic Valves

This brief video features a cardiologist discussing the advantages and disadvantages of tissue and mechanical replacement aortic valves.