Dr. Jeffrey Borer moderated the topic "Aortic Valve Disease in the Elderly" with Drs. Blase Carabello, Chief of Medical Services at the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX and Joseph Alpert, Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine participating.*
The discussion focused primarily on:
(1) aortic valve disease (AVD) in the elderly,
(2) patient selection and when AVD surgery could be indicated,
(3) risks of particular concern to the elderly patient population,
(4) reasonable contraindications to surgery, and
(5) discusses answers to the issue regarding patients' expectations for recovery. As part of the discussion, the participants engage each other regarding the definition of "elderly", the desire of the patient to have the surgery and undergo rehabilitation, whether drugs, primarily vasodilators, can provide an alternative to surgery, the role of technology in patient selection, and the challenges of rehabilitation for elderly patients including payor limitations.