Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)Call 828.485.3010
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that treats aortic stenosis, a narrowing or thickening of the aortic valve, by inserting a new valve in the diseased aortic valve. TAVR is an alternative to open-heart aortic valve surgery. It can increase blood flow to the heart and improve symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Frye Regional Medical Center cardiologists and heart surgeons perform TAVR procedures in people with severe aortic stenosis, including those who have been told they are at high risk or not candidates for traditional aortic valve replacement surgery.
Is TAVR Heart Surgery?
TAVR is a much less-invasive approach to aortic valve replacement surgery. The procedure takes place in a hybrid operating room, which combines elements from both a catheterization laboratory and a traditional operating room. Advanced imaging provides a real-time view of your blood vessels as your doctor makes an incision – either in the groin, neck, or the upper chest – and threads a catheter through a vessel to reach the diseased aortic valve. (The best approach is determined by your doctor and is based on your anatomy and overall condition.) A new valve made of animal tissue is expanded inside your original aortic valve, restoring blood flow and relieving the obstruction from aortic stenosis.
TAVR Benefits and Complications
Compared with traditional aortic valve replacement surgery, TAVR carries a lower risk of bleeding, shortens recovery, and reduces hospital stays. Because any aortic valve surgery or procedure can trigger heart conduction problems, some people undergoing TAVR need to have a pacemaker implanted afterward.
TAVR Evaluation and Testing
You may be a candidate for TAVR if you have:
- Severe aortic stenosis
- Medical conditions that increase your risks with traditional open-heart surgery
- Had a previous aortic valve replacement or heart bypass surgery
Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to identify and evaluate the severity of your aortic valve disease and determine if you are a candidate for TAVR:
- Electrocardiogram and/or 3D transesophageal echocardiogram
- CT angiogram
- Cardiac MRI
- Cardiac catheterization
Qualified patient candidates are now being accepted for evaluation.
If you are a physician with a patient suffering from severe aortic stenosis and need to refer your patient for TAVR consideration, or if you are a patient who would like more information, please contact the Valve Clinic team at 828.485.3010.
Fill out the form below to get started on your journey to a healthier heart with TAVR.