Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
What is TAVR?
TAVR is the acronym for a revolutionary cardiac valve procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement and is a treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not eligible for traditional open heart surgery. Unlike aortic valve replacement performed by traditional open heart surgery, TAVR is a less-invasive technology that allows your heart team to replace a diseased aortic heart valve while the heart is still beating.
How does it work?
Replacing the aortic valve during a TAVR procedure means an implantable valve is inserted through a catheter and placed within the diseased aortic valve. The catheter allows the valve to be inserted through an incision in the leg and into an artery (transfemoral procedure), or through an incision between the ribs and then through the bottom end of the heart called the apex (transapical procedure). The heart team assigned to your case will determine the best procedure.
Who is a candidate for TAVR?
Not every patient in need of an aortic valve replacement will be considered for TAVR—each patient is evaluated using specific criteria to determine what type procedure can give a patient the best individual outcome. A candidate who may be considered for TAVR is someone who has been diagnosed with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis and is at intermediate or greater risk for open heart surgery. The risk associated with surgery depends on how healthy or sick a patient is. Based on the health of the individual, some patients may be considered intermediate-risk for surgery.