Clogged Aortic Valve? Can You Help My Mom?
Jamie just asked me, “Adam – My mom has been diagnosed with aortic regurgitation. The cardiologist told her that her aortic valve is clogged. As a result of the clog, she is being scheduled for more tests and a potential valve repair or replacement. Does this sound right?”
Hmmmm. I think there may be a mix-up of medical terms your mom’s condition. First, aortic regurgitation can lead to heart valve repair or heart valve replacement. That makes sense. Now, as for the source of that regurgitation, I don’t believe it is because the aortic valve is “clogged”. It sounds like the flaps of your mom’s aortic valve are floppy – thereby creating a blood leak back into the heart.
As for the clog, I don’t know if anything is clogged in the valve. Rather, it sounds like the valve does not open-and-close properly. (That could lead to severe issues for the health of your mother’s heart.)
My gut tells me there may be something else going on here. Perhaps the reference to a clog could relate to a plaque build-up in one of her arteries arteries. As you may know, angioplasty is a procedure done to open a partially blocked blood vessel so that blood can flow through it more easily. It is most often done on arteries that deliver blood to the heart (coronary arteries) when they are narrowed or “clogged” by plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) or blood clots.
You might want to speak with your mom’s cardiologist to further understand her condition and make sure you understand all the details of her diagnosis. I hope this helps explain more about aortic valve regurgitation the reality of clogged aortic valves.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.