Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. It repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place.
Valve-within-valve — How does it work?
The TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter.
Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow.
Usually, valve replacement requires an open heart procedure with a “sternotomy”, in which the chest is surgically opened for the procedure. The TAVR procedures can be done through very small openings that leave all the chest bones in place.
A TAVR procedure is not without risks, but it provides beneficial treatment options to people who may be at an intermediate to high risk for surgical valve replacement while providing the added bonus of a faster recovery in most cases. A patient’s experience with a TAVR procedure may be comparable to a balloon treatment or even an angiogram in terms of downtime and recovery, and will likely require a shorter hospital stay (average 2-3 days).
Who is a good candidate for this type of valve surgery?
At this time the procedure is reserved for patients where an open-heart procedure poses intermediate risk. For that reason, most people who have this procedure are in their 70’s or 80’s and often have other medical conditions that make them a better candidate for this type of surgery.
TAVR can be an effective option to improve the quality of life in patients who otherwise have limited choices for the repair of their aortic valves.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
A minimally-invasive procedure that allows the aortic valve to be replaced with a new valve.
Dr. Aggarwal and Dr. Bhatia are Board-Certified in Interventional Cardiovascular Disease, Echocardiography, and Internal Medicine.
At Heart South Cardiovascular Group, we take a personal approach when it comes to treating patients. Our Board-Certified Cardiologists are skilled in the evaluation, diagnosis, and care of all medical conditions associated with managing heart-related problems.
Aortic Stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve openings. Aortic Stenosis restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta.
For patients with severe aortic stenosis who are either at high risk or too sick for open-heart surgery, TAVR may be a good option.
Symptoms of aortic stenosis might include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain (angina) pressure or tightness
- Fainting, known as syncope
- Palpitations or feeling of heavy, pounding, or noticeable heartbeats
- The decline in activity level or reduced ability to do normal activities requiring mild exertion.
- Heart murmur
Longevity and quality of life increase in patients after TAVR procedure. Patients are able to do their daily tasks easily after the surgery.