BARCELONA, Spain, March 7 (UPI) -- A study shows replacing a leaky aorta valve before major symptoms develop is better than waiting until afterward.
Researchers at the Universitari Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona said following American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association guidelines for the heart valve replacement was found to be better for the patient.
While symptoms may be mild or virtually non-existent, some may lead to heart failure altogether. Determining when is the right time is often difficult for doctors who don't follow the guidelines.
Of the 170 patients with chronic severe aortic valve leaks, 12 percent who had early surgery died within 10 years, compared to 37 percent in the delayed surgery group.
Lead researcher Dr. Pilar Tornos, warned against too early a surgery though, since that would add an unneeded stress on a patient's body.
The study is published in the March 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.