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Old 05-04-2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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katidid95 HB User
Bicuspid Aortic Valve

I was referred to a cardiologist because of heart palpatations, chest pains, etc. that were happening daily starting a month ago. The 24-hr monitor and echocardiogram showed that my heart is beating normally, EXCEPT I have bicuspid aortic valve. The cardio said it has nothing to do with the symptoms I'm experiencing (He and my GP are thinking more like anxiety now since the symptoms are getting better). He said I just need to have an echo done every two years (I'm 46, slim, exercise, always have been healthy) and take antibiotics if I'm to have any type of invasive procedures, including dental work.

Okay soooooo, I feel better because my heart palps aren't something awful and may just anxiety (although that's kinda hard to deal with since I've only had 2-3 "panic" type attacks in my whole life). BUT, now I have to deal with know I have this "thing" I have to watch with my heart. Some research I've read says that about 1/3 of people who have it never have symptoms.

Anybody dealing/living with this? Thanks for any input.

 
Old 05-04-2005, 05:18 PM   #2
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born2bwild HB User
Re: Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Do you mean that this valve is leaky? Sometimes they also refer to it as regurgitation. I have a very leaky tricuspid valve that they are monitoring yearly and also a large hole in my heart that i am having surgery for on friday. I am 41 and just found out i have any heart problems. Althought i have has progressive symptoms for the past 5 years, they kept telling me it was anxiety. I was born with the these defects but not having it repaired sooner has taken a toll on my heart. I have developed secondary pulmonary hypertention. I was always short of breath,dizzy,fainting,night sweats,respiratory infections and the last few years i have had extreme chest pain and all the symptoms of severe anxiety, which they now tell me is atrial fibilation. They can moniter leaky valves but you will probably develope symptoms if it is getting worse. Some never get worse and some people are never bothered by it. The fact that they know about it and they can monitor it and your symptoms, is a great benefit as if you do require intervention later on then they will have a baseline to go on. Good luck to you.

 
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Old 05-04-2005, 07:05 PM   #3
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katidid95 HB User
Re: Bicuspid Aortic Valve

It's the last valve of the heart before the blood travels out to the body and normally there are three "flaps", mine only has two (born that way). I guess it can become leaky over time, or not allow enough blood flow. It may build up callouses and then that's when problems start occuring. I guess I should be glad that I know about it because if I hadn't had the echo, I'd never would have found out. It is something that can be monitored (he told me to have another echo in 2 years) and also know about taking antibiotics.

They do amazing surgeries now with the heart. I'm sure you'll be fine and probably better than ever afterwards! Best thoughts to you.

 
Old 05-05-2005, 05:13 PM   #4
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tomh HB User
Re: Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by katidid95
I guess I should be glad that I know about it because if I hadn't had the echo, I'd never would have found out.
Amen to that. Mine got infected and damaged (eventually replaced) because I didn't know about it, and didn't take antibiotics soon enough. I was also overweight, unfit and not particulary healthy (sleep, eating habits).

The aortic valve works the hardest of all the valves because it must propel blood to the far reaches of the body.

You are doing the right things in my opinion. Take antibiotics prior to anything invasive including dental work. Have periodic echocardioagrams to watch for change. Other than than, try to live life to the fullest and relax. Congrats on being slim, fit and healthy. It can only help.

By the way, despite this and other issues, I'm now fit, and healthy (but still slightly overweight) at 50. Yes, heart surgeries are amazing these days.

You will be fine. You have a lot to look forward to. I wish you well.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:03 PM   #5
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katidid95 HB User
Re: Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Tomh: Thanks for your reply and input. I don't see a lot about this and I'm wondering if a lot of people are like you and don't know about it until they are tested for other heart symptoms (like me) or until they actually have problems with it. Anyway, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I can deal with it in my head and move on. It's kind of hard right now because my Dr. seems to think my symptoms are anxiety related (it all started after a death in my family) and I'm thinking it's possible. But now I'm anxious about this! I"m wondering if I should get a second opinion or just accept and move on.

BTW - I'm glad your surgery was successful and you feel better. Sounds like you'll be better than ever!

 
Old 05-05-2005, 07:30 PM   #6
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tomh HB User
Re: Bicuspid Aortic Valve

katidid95,

It's just sooooooooooo hard to know from afar what is going on. If you are able to move on and the palpitaions go away, that would be great, huh?

If not, then treat the anxiety. Anxiety/worry/stress only make matters worse. If that doesn't work, go see another cardiologist.

Valve disease can be relatively benign for a long long time, perhaps forever. Hope that is your case.

BTW, I'm better than ever.
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