Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a surgical procedure for patients with severe and symptomatic narrowing of the aortic valve opening, known as aortic stenosis.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement involves replacing a damaged aortic valve with one made from cow or pig heart tissue.
To perform TAVR, the doctor may access the patient’s heart through a blood vessel in the leg or a tiny incision in the chest. A catheter is inserted through the access point and is guided by imaging technology to the heart and into the aortic valve.
Once the new valve is positioned, a balloon is inflated to expand the replacement valve into the appropriate position. When the physician is confident the valve is in place, the catheter is removed.
TAVR may be an option for patients who:
Patients may spend the night in the ICU for monitoring after the procedure, and an additional two to five days recovering in the hospital.
Patients will need regular follow up appointments with a physician after the procedure. TAVR may relieve the signs and symptoms of aortic valve stenosis and improve a patient’s overall health and quality of life. Patients should report any new or worsening signs or symptoms to their physician.
A physician may also recommend healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking.