Treatments

Bicuspid Aortic Valve Treatments

Like many diseases, bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) will affect each patient differently. We take care to ensure our team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, psychologists and social workers work together to tailor a treatment plan specific to your needs.

Once you are diagnosed, your treatment options depend on whether or not you have symptoms.

If you have no symptoms

Medical management is used to treat most people with BAV who do not have symptoms. Medical management can help:

  • Slow the onset of complications
  • Prevent further complications
  • Recognize the onset of symptoms
  • Identify optimal timing of surgical intervention

Medical Management

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.

You can also help manage your BAV by being heart healthy. Ways to be heart healthy include following a low fat, low sodium diet, being physically active, practicing good dental hygiene and quitting or avoiding smoking.

If you have symptoms

While medical management of your BAV will continue, once your aortic valve starts to leak or does not open completely, surgery may be your best treatment option. 

Surgery

Sometimes cardiac surgeons are able to fix BAV by performing an aortic valve repair. However, if the aortic valve is too damaged to repair, an aortic valve replacement may be the best option. You may also require surgery to repair or replace sections of your aorta. When it is determined that surgery is needed your cardiac surgeon will discuss which option(s) is best for your particular needs.

Surgical interventions for patients with complications related to BAV include:

  • Aortic valve repair or replacement for patients with severe aortic stenosis or aortic insufficiency/regurgitation, in those patients having symptoms, and/or those with evidence of abnormal left ventricular function
  • Minimally-invasive aortic valve replacement: Aortic valve replacement through a smaller “keyhole” incision
  • Modified Bentall procedure: Replacement of the entire aortic root including the aortic valve and abnormal aortic wall
  • David procedure: Valve-sparing aortic root replacement (aortic root replacement where one’s own aortic valve is spared but the abnormal aortic wall is replaced)
  • Ross procedureA diseased aortic valve is replaced with a person’s own pulmonary valve]
  • Repair of the aortaThe diseased portion of aorta is removed and replaced with a synthetic (man-made) graft

Follow-up care

Even after surgical repair or replacement of the BAV, you may still be at risk for future complications. We will give you a pre-discharge echocardiogram (ECHO) to establish your clinical baseline after surgery. Your physician will contact you three to six months after surgery to monitor your symptoms and progress. Seeing your cardiologist yearly for a check-up will help to determine if additional testing is required.

It is important to keep all appointments for blood work, tests and physician exams. Your cardiologist will make future medication changes and provide refills as needed. Talk with your physician about cardiac rehabilitation or routine exercise programs and the limitations on them depending on your condition.


Treatments

If you have symptoms with your BAV, your treatment is likely to be surgical, individualized for your personal needs. Because many with BAV will require cardiac surgery during their lifetime, we recommend early referral to a cardiac surgeon with experience in aortic valve surgery.

Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please call 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:

Referring Physicians
Open communication and cooperation with referring physicians is a critical component of achieving high-quality care and minimizing the challenges that come with treating cardiovascular conditions. For physician-to-physician consultation regarding the best patient care, please contact Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312.NM.HEART (664.3278).


Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, please call 847.53.HEART (534.3278).

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials:


Six niche centers within Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offer patient focused, specialized care, making Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute a leading destination for both initial diagnoses and second opinions. These niche programs include physicians, nurses and a range of multidisciplinary specialists working with patients to navigate the complex health care system, ensuring continuity of care and a seamless shift from inpatient to outpatient services and ultimately home.

Contact Us
To schedule an appointment or inquire about services at Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital or Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, please call 630.232.0280

Cardiovascular Clinical Trials
For information regarding cardiovascular clinical trials: