Medical Treatments for Bicuspid Aortic Valve
At Northwestern Memorial, we tailor treatment of bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) to each person’s unique needs.
Jyothy Puthumana, MD , medical co-director of the Bicuspid Aortic Valve Program, is part of our expert team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, cardiac rehabilitation specialists, psychologists and social workers, all of whom collaborate to help diagnose and manage BAV. During your care, a dedicated nurse coordinator will follow your case and help coordinate the team.
This multidisciplinary approach helps us monitor your progress and diagnose potentially life-threatening complications early, resulting in more successful treatment. If medical management is not effective or appropriate, surgery may be necessary.
Medical Management of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
The goal of medical management of BAV is to achieve optimal blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels. You and your cardiologist will decide if and when medications are necessary.
Because BAV may respond favorably to risk factor modification, we encourage people to follow a sensible diet and quit smoking. Research shows smoking can increase the risk of complications related to BAV. We encourage people to pursue a more active lifestyle, under the care of their health care providers.
Follow-up Serial Testing and Long-Term Care
Because BAV can cause complications at any time—with few or no symptoms—we encourage people to undergo serial (repeated routinely) follow-up tests throughout their life, as recommended by their cardiologist. These include echocardiograms (ECHO) and other imaging tests, such as computed tomography (CT scan) and four-dimensional (4-D) resonance imaging (MRI). By monitoring your progress, we can assess changes and detect complications that may require surgery.
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