Aortic regurgitation (AR) is leakage of the aortic valve each time the left ventricle of the heart relaxes. A normal aortic valve only allows blood to flow in one direction. AR allows blood to flow in 2 directions. This results in the heart doing more work to pump the blood back out. The walls of the ventricle will sometimes thicken or dilate as a result, and this type of heart muscle is a less effective pump. Eventually, the heart may be unable to pump enough to meet the body’s need for blood, leading to heart failure.
Mild aortic regurgitation may produce few symptoms. More severe aortic regurgitation may present as heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing when lying down, weakness, fainting, or swollen ankles and feet. Mild aortic regurgitation may be treatable with medications, but for more severe cases, surgical repairs or replacement are often needed. Patient with aortic regurgitation should be checked with an echocardiogram (heart scan) to confirm the safest and best options for treatment.
Consult Dr Ang to discuss an appropriate treatment plan for your heart condition.