Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Aortic leakage
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Aortic leakage

I am 15 y/o and I have leakage in my aortic valve. I was told I may have to have surgery later in life. What can I do to prevent surgery? What are things I can do to prevent surgery?
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Dear Coo,

Without knowing much more about your valve, its anatomy, the amount of leakage, and several other factors, there’s little that I can tell you regarding how to prevent surgery nor about your prognosis as to whether you will even need surgery, or not.  In general, I can advise you to do a few simple things:  avoid significant isometric exercises, such as competitive football, wrestling, or weightlifting; ensure that you have good oral hygiene, including routing dental visits; maintain normal blood pressure and weight; make sure that you have routine cardiology follow-up, and, get routine aerobic exercise.  However, despite all this, it is still possible that you may require aortic valve surgery in the future.  The goal is not to speed its occurrence up, and to make sure that your heart is in good shape in order to tolerate it.  In general, though, aortic valve disease, if it is anything beyond mild in nature, is something that I typically tell patients will be with them for life and will require both follow-up as well as likely intervention, or re-intervention, at some point.
2 Comments
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Dear Jeffrey,

Is it ok if I continue to play baseball? Will this affect me? What are good things to eat to maintain a healthy heart?
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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