Navigation Links
Barbara Walters' Prognosis Is Excellent, Doctors Say

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:
(Date:11/27/2015)... VVA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... motto of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing ... The conference will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the needs of ... protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The men and women on this list ... the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their community through ... as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the ... LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the ... a version of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD and Cambridge Memorial ... in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians can now order ... electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient entry or an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a retail specialty pharmacy ... patients suffering from chronic pain, said today that it ... Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from unilaterally terminating the ... --> --> The company said ... options. --> --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, ... trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product ... metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 million in ... week trial and three days of deliberations, the ... was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest ... dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for ... solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory enter ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: