The aortic valve is a structure that is located between the major pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle) and the aorta (major blood vessel leading blood away from the heart). It opens when the heart muscle contracts to allow blood to leave the heart. Aortic stenosis is condition in which the valve becomes rigid over time (usually later in life) and the opening of his valve becomes smaller and this impairs the ability of the heart to deliver an adequate amount of blood the rest of the body. This can cause symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or loss of consciousness when the valve becomes severely narrowed. When untreated this condition is associated with a decreased survival. Historically this condition has been treated with surgical aortic valve replacement or open-heart surgery.Over the past several years valves have been developed that can be delivered over catheters through small incisions in the leg or chest. These valves are currently used in patients who are at high risk for standard open-heart surgery. The physicians of the Hartford Cardiac Laboratory have been involved in this therapy since 2012. The 200th aortic valve implant was performed in May of 2015.

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