Navigation Links
Barbara Walters' Prognosis Is Excellent, Doctors Say
Date:5/11/2010

Increasingly common surgery will replace aortic valve to improve blood flow

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- TV broadcaster Barbara Walters surprised fans of her weekday show "The View" Monday when she announced she was preparing to undergo a heart valve replacement, a procedure that will keep her off the air until the fall.

But doctors say her prognosis is excellent, with heart-valve replacement surgery now considered a routine procedure that typically leads to a full recovery.

"Having an isolated aortic valve replacement nowadays is associated with maybe a 1 or 2 percent mortality," said Dr. Daniel Goldstein, surgical director of the Center for Advanced Cardiac Therapy at Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center in New York City.

Walters, who is 80, told viewers that the faulty valve was discovered during an echocardiogram.

Other high-profile recent recipients of heart valve replacements include former First Lady Barbara Bush and comedian Robin Williams.

Dr. Paul Stelzer, a professor in the department of cardiothoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, said the most likely reason for "someone to have a valve replaced these days is aortic stenosis."

This condition involves the aortic valve, which is located between the left lower chamber of the heart -- the left ventricle -- and the aorta, the largest artery in the body. As the left ventricle contracts, the valve opens, forcing oxygenated blood into the aorta where it is then distributed throughout the body.

"The valve is supposed to be a one-way door that opens completely and doesn't cause any obstruction of blood flow, and then closes completely so the blood only flows in one direction," Stelzer explained.

But as a heart ages, the valve can sometimes stiffen and not open all the way, which forces the heart muscle to do all the work, potentially leading to shortness of breath, fainting, chest pain and heart failure, he said.

The problem is more common than one would expect, Stelzer said. "Probably 5 to 10 percent of the population when they get into their mid-80s will have some degree of aortic stenosis. Women get this about twice as often as men, but we are not sure why that is."

The surgery to correct the problem typically involves replacing the defective valve with a heart valve from a pig or cow, but sometimes a human donor valve or a mechanical valve is used, Stelzer said.

"For someone who is over the age of 70, we almost always use a tissue valve [either pig or cow]," Stelzer said. "In an octogenarian I almost never use a mechanical valve."

"We are pretty sure these are going to last 15 to 20 years," he said. "It's going to exceed the life expectancy of the majority of people we put them into. If you live another 20 years, there's about a 50 percent chance you are going to have to have it done over."

The operation takes about three hours and most patients remain hospitalized for five days, Goldstein said.

However, full recovery takes some time. "Usually what I tell my patients is it's a good six to eight weeks until you are fully back to normal and able to do as much as you like, and the older you are the slower that might be," he said.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that "women tend to ignore their symptoms" associated with a faulty valve.

"What women need to understand and pay attention to is if there is any change in how they feel in terms of their exercise capacity, they should call their doctor," she said.

Ignoring these problems is never a good idea, Steinbaum said. "You want to take care of it before heart function suffers or you get sick with chest pain, syncope [fainting] and heart failure," she said.

More information

To learn more about heart valve surgery, visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Paul Stelzer, M.D., professor, department of cardiothoracic surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City; Daniel Goldstein, M.D., surgical director, Center for Advanced Cardiac Therapy, Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center, New York City; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director, women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Foundation Radiology Group Adds Barbara Beaudin, Chief Financial Officer, to Executive Management Staff
2. Sen. Barbara Boxer Commends California Poultry Companies and Cites Foster Farms Campaign for Raising Consumer Awareness About Sodium
3. Mika Brzezinski, Anna Quindlen, Barbara Corcoran, Jean Chatzky And Lee Woodruff Visit DC For More Magazine's Reinvention Convention
4. Hayes, Inc. Technology Prognosis Team Tracks First-of-a-Kind Technologies
5. "IPGDx, LLC Announces The Continued Validation Of Its Patented Technology For The Assessment Of Prognosis; PrognostiCheck" Getting the New Information to Patients and Do
6. UAB researchers find 4 biomarkers important in colorectal cancer treatment prognosis
7. UAB researchers find 4 biomarkers important in colerectal cancer treatment prognosis
8. M. D. Anderson zeroes in on better way to predict prognosis in pediatric leukemia patients
9. Obesity linked to poor colon cancer prognosis
10. Obese Colon Cancer Survivors Face Poorer Prognosis
11. A new indicator of poor prognosis in node-negative colorectal cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office of Somekh & ... and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office remain up to ... with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel was founded ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) ... a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed ... and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, ... and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints ... for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story ... the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation ... has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent ... sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million ... by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... 2017  In response to the nationwide opioid ... Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen ... as a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s ... Recognizing the value and importance of ... Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 ... single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory ... Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância ... first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED ... optimal access, illumination and exposure of a tissue ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the ... by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC ... brand, which included the unveiling of new signage at ... as well as at a few other company-owned facilities ... brand to patients, some of whom will begin to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: