If you have severe aortic stenosis and find yourself feeling anxious about your diagnosis and your upcoming transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, you’re not alone. As someone who went through my own TAVR a few years ago, Susan Strong knows that what you’re feeling is perfectly normal. With aortic stenosis, the heart’s aortic valve doesn’t open fully, so blood can’t flow from your heart out to the rest of your body. Severe aortic stenosis is life-threatening if not treated. While the vast majority of valve replacements are successful, receiving such a frightening diagnosis forces you to face your own mortality, which can be scary, to say the least.
After her diagnosis, and leading up to her TAVR, Susan’s anxiety and stress levels were through the roof, and she heard the same from many other patients of all ages. The silver lining of all this? She’s learned so much about anxiety, and has developed tools she can use to better manage stress in all parts of her life.
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