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A TikTok video by an emergency medical doctor highlights a concerning sign in the neck that may signal the need for a valve replacement. Dr. Joe emphasizes the importance of recognizing a pulsating carotid artery in the neck, known as a Corrigan sign or water hammer pulse.

This sensation indicates severe aortic regurgitation, a type of heart valve disease where the valve between the lower left heart chamber and the body’s main artery does not close tightly, leading to backward blood flow.

Dr. Joe explains, “[Severe aortic regurgitation] means as your blood leaves your heart, it then backflows through the aortic valve, where it’s not supposed to go back into your heart.” The condition has the potential to prevent the heart from pumping sufficient blood to the rest of the body, posing serious health risks.

Apart from the visible pulsation in the neck, other symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation, as noted by the Mayo Clinic, include shortness of breath during exercise or when lying down, fatigue and weakness, irregular heartbeat, light-headedness or fainting, chest pain or discomfort (especially during exercise), sensations of a rapid heartbeat, and swollen ankles and feet.

The Mayo Clinic advises seeking medical attention immediately if one experiences symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation. In severe cases, a valve replacement may be necessary to address the condition. Dr. Joe’s warning serves as a reminder to be vigilant about potential signs of heart valve issues, emphasizing the importance of timely medical intervention.

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