Well, earlier this week I had the follow-up test with the cardiologist. This was the trans esophageal echocardiogram. Basically, I was sedated and they put an echo wand down my throat to see my heart clearer, since the aorta rests on the esophagos.
So, they do the test, looking at my heart. The next half hour will determine my medical future, if I need surgery or not. At this point, as they sedate me, I’m wondering why my blood pressure is not elevated because I’m worried. But those thoughts fly away as I start to see three of my cardiologist.
The test goes well and the doctor gives me the results, but I have no idea what he is saying. Thankfully, Cowboy is in the other room and the doctor speaks to him.
Later, Cowboy explains it to me. It turns out that the regergatation I thought I had was not the problem at all. It turns out I have a congential heart defect, meaning a defect present since birth. The defect is a Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV). This also causes Aortic Valve Stenosis. The stenosis means not enough blood cal flow through my aortic valve. This is, in my case, because it is a bicuspid valve.
The normal valve is three leaflets. Mine is two.
Because of the leaflet difference, my valve does not open all the way, so blood flow is compromised. In some patients the stenosis can be life threatening and require surgery.
This is another graphic showing a bicuspid aortic valve.
So much relief that I won’t need surgery for now, that I just have to watch symptoms and have an EKG and echo every year or two to keep an eye on the condition.
When it is not severe, most people can go undiagnosed until they are in their 30’s.