Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces the aortic valve with a catheter without the need for an open heart procedure. Dr. Stephen Crowley and Dr. Jonathan Sherman are currently performing this procedure for ADCA. Ask your physician about this procedure and find out if you qualify.
How Does TAVR Work?
The standard treatment procedure for patients with aortic stenosis is SAVR, in which the damaged aortic valve is removed through open-heart surgery and replaced by either a mechanical or biological valve. However, if a patient is unfit for the demanding surgery, the aortic valve can be replaced through the catheter-based TAVR approach. Using a catheter, surgeons enter the heart through either the transfemoral, transapical or transaortic arteries. In most cases, the transfemoral approach is used, but individual patient needs may necessitate alternative approaches.
After the catheter is inserted into the heart, a new valve is then inserted inside the damaged aortic valve. This new valve is then expanded, pressing against the flaps of the damaged valve and allowing blood to flow at its proper level.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is unique in that is has the potential to provide relief to patients whose health previously disqualified them as surgical candidates or who are found to be higher risk surgical candidates. Because the incisions are small and the procedure leaves chest bones intact, average hospital stays are significantly shorter for patients who undergo the TAVR procedure. However, the Heart Team will evaluate each patient on an individual basis and recommendations will be made regarding the best treatment option for that specific patient.
TAVR vs. SAVR
For patients who can tolerate SAVR, traditional open-heart surgery is still the preferred method of treatment. However, TAVR may be appropriate for patients who are either too sick for surgery or who are deemed high risk.