What is a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?
Aortic valve stenosis is a type of heart disease in which blood isn’t able to flow freely from the heart to the rest of the body. This happens when the aortic valve is unable to open completely, restricting the space in which the blood has to circulate. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure by passing the new valve by way of a peripheral artery over a catheter and placing the new valve into position.
Are you a candidate for TAVR?
TAVR is for patients who have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and is an alternative to open heart surgery for many patients. The valve team will determine the severity of the stenosis and if surgery or TAVR is the right treatment.
What does the TAVR procedure involve?
Once the valve is deployed, the replacement valve takes over the regulation of blood flow. The new valve is an artificial version of the natural valve and provides immediate improved circulation.
The catheter is generally inserted into the aortic valve via one of two methods:
- Transfemoral: A small incision is made in the patient’s thigh and the catheter is routed up to the heart through a large artery in the groin.
- Transapical: A small incision is cut in between the ribs on the chest and the catheter is inserted into a large artery or the tip of the apex.
The TAVR team, including interventional cardiologists and a cardiothoracic surgeon, will determine which method is best for each patient.