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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

If you need an aortic valve replacement, due to aortic valve stenosis or other condition, but are considered a patient with intermediate, high or extreme risk for complications of heart surgery, you may qualify for the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedure, or TAVR.

This procedure replaces the aortic valve using a technique that is much less invasive than traditional open heart surgery. TAVR avoids the trauma of surgically opening the chest, dividing the breastbone and replacing the damaged aortic valve with a mechanical or biological one. It leaves the old valve in place but replaces it with a stent and a new, fully functioning valve.

The TAVR Procedure

Once you are under general anesthesia, a highly skilled and experienced interventional cardiologist from our Heart & Vascular Institute, inserts a sheath about the diameter of a pencil through a small needle hole into your femoral artery.

Guided by digital X-ray and ultrasound imaging, the device, which has a balloon on the end of it, moves through the catheter tube up to your diseased valve. The balloon is briefly inflated to make room for the new valve to be inserted and expanded inside the diseased valve. The catheter is withdrawn, leaving the new valve in place.

Some patients go home as soon as 48 hours after the procedure. Recovery times are typically much shorter than those who have traditional open heart surgery.