You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. After your initial appointment, your doctor may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions (cardiologist).
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- Write down your symptoms and how long you've had them.
- Make a list of your key medical information, including other recent health problems you've had and all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend with you to the appointment, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For aortic valve regurgitation, questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- What tests do I need?
- What treatment approach do you recommend?
- What are the alternatives to the approach you're recommending?
- Will I need surgery? If so, what surgeon do you recommend for aortic valve surgery?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions, as well.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Sept. 03, 2014
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have heart disease in your family?
- Heart valve disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/hvd/hvd_all.html. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Roles of your four heart valves. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Roles-of-Your-Four-Heart-Valves_UCM_450344_Article.jsp. Accessed June 2, 2014.
- Gaasch WH. Pathophysiology and clinical features of chronic aortic regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 16, 2014.
- Gaasch WH. Course and management of chronic aortic regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 16, 2014.
- Aldea GS. Minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 6, 2014.
- Foster E. Echocardiographic evaluation of the aortic valve. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 17, 2014.
- Maganti K, et al. Vascular heart disease: Diagnosis and management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2010;85:483.