Preparing for your appointment

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:

  • 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?
Aug. 02, 2017
References
  1. What is heart valve disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hvd. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  2. Problem: Aortic valve regurgitation. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Problem-Aortic-Valve-Regurgitation_UCM_450611_Article.jsp#.WNA5Ldjrvcs. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  3. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Valvular heart disease. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 16, 2017.
  4. Gaasch WH. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of chronic aortic regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 17, 2017.
  5. Gaasch WH. Natural history and management of chronic aortic valve regurgitation in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 17, 2017.
  6. Ruiz CE, et al. Transcatheter therapies for the treatment of valvular and paravalvular regurgitation in acquired and congenital valvular heart disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015;66:169.
  7. AskMayoExpert. Aortic valve regurgitation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2017.
  8. Nishimura RA, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2014;148:e1.
  9. How can I make my lifestyle healthier? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/ToolsForYourHeartHealth/Answers-by-Heart-Fact-Sheets-Lifestyle-and-Risk-Reduction_UCM_300611_Article.jsp#.WC9socnFjVY. Accessed March 20, 2017.
  10. Daniels BK. Echo Information Management System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct 18, 2016.
  11. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 14, 2017.
  12. Lopez-Jimenez F (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 19, 2017.
  13. Braverman AC. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of bicuspid aortic valve in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 19, 2017.

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