Surgeon Q&A: Can Heart Valve Calcium Break Off And Cause a Stroke?

One of the most common forms of heart valve disease results from the build-up of calcium on the valve leaflets and the valve structure (e.g. the annulus). For example, aortic stenosis, a narrowed heart valve due to calcification, can result in symptoms, heart failure and death. A key concern of patients with calcified valves is whether-or-not the calcium on the valve can break off and cause a stroke or thromboembolic event. In this video, Dr. Marc Gerdisch, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, Indiana, addresses this patient concern as he describes the causes and treatments of calcified heart valves. In addition, Dr. Gerdisch, who has performed over 4,000 heart valve operations, addresses the future role of tissue engineering for patients needing heart valve replacement therapy. (Video posted on May 18, 2022)

Doctor Interviewed

Dr. Marc Gerdisch

Chief, Cardiac Surgery
Franciscan Health
Indianapolis, Indiana

(317) 682-0089

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