Aortic Regurgitation

Your blood is supposed to flow in one direction through the heart.

When your aortic valve works correctly, it allows blood to follow a one-way path from your heart’s lower left chamber, the left ventricle, into the aorta and out to the body. It acts like a gatekeeper, closing after each beat to prevent blood from seeping backward into the heart. When you have aortic regurgitation, the aortic value doesn’t close as tightly as it should and some of the blood that was just pumped out of the left ventricle leaks back in.

With this condition, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.

The leakage may prevent your heart from pumping blood efficiently to the rest of the body, and leave you feeling fatigued and short of breath. Aortic regurgitation commonly occurs gradually over time, perhaps decades. You may not even know you have the condition, as it is often diagnosed by physician exam or heart ultrasound. Treatment may include careful monitoring, medications, or once the condition becomes severe, surgery to repair or replace the valve.

Some Symptoms Include
• Fatigue and weakness
• Shortness of breath with exertion or when you lie down
• Swollen ankles and feet
• Chest pain discomfort or tightness
• Lightheadedness or fainting
• Irregular pulse
• Heart murmur
• Rapid, fluttering heartbeat

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