Straight Talk On Aortic Valve Stenosis

If a patient is diagnosed with moderate-to-severe aortic valve stenosis, no matter how elderly or frail, the patient must undergo replacement surgery to avoid death in a matter of months. Aortic valve stenosis is a deadly disease that requires immediate attention. 

Severe symptomatic aortic valve stenosis is a lethal condition that needs effective mechanical relief in the form of aortic valve replacement. There is no other medical treatment for this disease. Some doctors avoid this surgery for elderly and frail patients, but this is the worst possible course of action. Without aortic valve surgery, three-quarters of these patients will die within three years of symptom onset (shown in graph 1).

minimally invasive aortic valve replacement life expentancy

The following graph shows the life expectancy of patients who undergo replacement surgery (blue line) versus the survival rate of patients who do not have surgery (red line). As you can clearly see, surgery is the right course of action.

minimally invasive aortic valve surgery

The life expectancy of patients with aortic valve stenosis who undergo an aortic valve replacement is the same as any patient of the same age that has never be affected by aortic valve disease.

Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement For Frail Patients

A well-meaning relative will ask: “Isn’t Grandma too old and frail to withstand open heart surgery?”

Dr. Ciuffo’s answer will always be: “No. Grandma is too old and frail to withstand severe aortic valve stenosis. Let me show the statistics on this condition!!!”

The way Dr. Ciuffo performs a minimally invasive aortic valve replacement has dramatically changed the impact of this operation on the overall patient’s experience and on the speed of recovery. Most patients, even the elderly and frail, will be able to return to their families and normal lives two or three days after surgery, with a much better chance of living many more happy years.

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery