Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
The TAVR procedure is for patients who have been diagnosed with severe symptomatic Aortic Stenosis who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery. TAVR (sometimes called transcatheter aortic valve implantation, or TAVI) is a less invasive procedure than open-heart surgery which allows a new valve to be inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve.
The TAVR procedure can be performed using one of many approaches, the most common being the transfemoral approach (through a small incision in the leg). Only a Heart Team can decide which approach is best, based on the patient’s medical condition and other factors.
In preparation for the patient’s transfemoral procedure (or through the upper leg), the patient may be placed under anesthesia. The doctor will make an incision in the leg and insert a short, hollow tube called a sheath. This will allow the doctor to put various devices through the sheath to access the patient’s heart. The new heart valve is placed on the delivery system and compressed onto a balloon to make it small enough to fit through the sheath. Once the delivery system reaches the patient’s diseased valve, the balloon will be inflated with fluid, expanding the new valve into place. The new valve pushes the leaflets of the patient’s diseased valve aside, and the frame of the new valve uses the diseased valve’s leaflets to secure itself into place. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The patient’s doctor will ensure the new valve is working properly before closing up the incision.
Benefits of TAVR:
- Relief of symptoms
- Reduction in pain and anxiety
- Improved heart function
- No open heart surgery
- Short length of stay in the hospital
- May shorten recovery time
Patient Impact of TAVR PDF
Physicians at Palomar Health who perform the TAVR procedure
Rod Serry, M.D., Interventional Cardiology
Yuan Lin, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgery
Learn about Betty Krahmer’s experience with TAVR
If you are interested in learning more about the TAVR procedure or treatment of heart valve disease contact our Heart Valve Clinic Coordinator (Mary Russell) at Mary.Russell@PalomarHealth.org.