Aortic stenosis is a narrow place in or around the aortic valve. In normal blood flow, the blood leaves the left ventricle and passes through the aortic valve out to the rest of the body. When the valve opening narrows, it is harder to pump the blood. This can occur in the valve itself or in the muscles just below the valve. It can cause the left ventricle to become enlarged or thickened.


There may be some fatigue and problems with exercise. Infants may have problems eating. Often a murmur is heard on exam.

Infants with severe aortic stenosis may need treatment right away. People with mild stenosis will be watched by the cardiology team. Some people may need treatment with medicines. A heart ultrasound will check the amount narrowed and the size of the left ventricle.


You may be treated in the cardiac cath lab. The doctor will pass a balloon thru the valve. The balloon is then inflated to open up the narrowed area and then removed.

Surgery may be needed to repair the narrow place. There are four types of repair. We will help you decide which method is best.

  • Valvotomy – The aortic valve is rebuilt to allow blood to pass freely. We may need to remove tissue or muscles under the valve as well.

  • Ross procedure – The aortic valve is replaced with your own pulmonary valve or a tube.

  • Subaortic stenosis membrane resection – The membrane causing the narrow place is removed. This allows the blood to pass freely.

  • Valve replacement – The aortic valve is replaced with either a mechanical valve or a valve from a human or animal donor.

When to Call

Call if you have any questions or concerns.

Who to Call

Pediatric Cardiology
(608) 263-6420

Adult Congenital Heart Disease
(608) 890-5700