Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Structural Heart and Valve Doctors at Baptist Health
Baptist Health is known for advanced, superior care for patients with heart conditions and the diagnosis, treatment and management of valvular heart disease. You will appreciate timely appointments and a professional, friendly atmosphere where we take time to listen to your concerns. At Baptist Health, you have access to the region’s most comprehensive, multidisciplinary team of doctors and innovative therapies, including many available only through specialized clinical trials. In every way, we work to demonstrate the utmost in excellent care to those who trust us with their health.
What Is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?
Traditionally, when a person is diagnosed with aortic stenosis, open heart surgery was the only option to treat this disorder. Less invasive valve replacement options are now available to treat disease aortic valves. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was initially approved by the FDA in 2011 as an alternative to open heart surgery in patients who were high risk for surgery. Continued advancements in this technology and excellent results allowed for FDA approval for its expanded use in most patients who are deemed good candidates by the Baptist Health heart team.
The TAVR procedure involves an Interventional Cardiologist and Cardiothoracic Surgeon working together to replace the aortic valve using catheters through a small incision from the leg artery or in the chest wall. Two devices currently used are the Edwards Sapien 3 and Medtronic Evolute valves platforms, which are commercially available. Unlike traditional surgery the heart is not stopped or put on bypass machine, which has resulted in shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.
For more information, contact Baptist Health or schedule an appointment with one of our heart care doctors today.
What Can TAVR Accomplish?
After a TAVR surgery, proper blood flow and circulation is restored to your body, giving you more energy. It can also:
- Reduce or eliminate heart murmurs or palpitations
- Reduce or eliminate swelling in feet and legs
- Reduce or eliminate chest discomfort or pain
- Enable you to be more physically active without experiencing fatigue or shortness of breath
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
One of the biggest benefits of TAVR is that it requires only a few small incisions. Those incisions are typically made in groin or neck to access the artery and place a large IV or sheath. Through the sheath a valve is then advanced across the native diseased valve over a wire. The valve is then deployed either by inflating a balloon to expand the valve or allowed to expand after removing a sheath. The native valve is left in place and is used to secure the new TAVR valve in position. This procedure can be done either with the patient asleep on the ventilator or under moderate sedation.
Your recovery will depend heavily on your condition before the procedure, and the type of sedation and procedure performed. Recovery often involves an overnight observation on a telemetry floor but further observation may been needed to monitor any heart rhythm issues or other unforeseen issues. Patients are able to get back to the prior activity with minimal restrictions after leaving the hospital and are recommended to attend cardiac rehabilitation which can be done at Baptist Health or locally.
Estimated Recovery Timeline
Many people feel relief of symptoms almost immediately. You will tire easily in the days following hospital discharge, but your energy will increase as you heal. Make sure to keep your follow-up appointments and follow instructions for heart-healthy eating and exercise.
Heart Valve Repair Possible Risks
Any medical procedure carries risks, but heart valve repair is typically a safe and effective procedure. You will be given instructions about how to avoid these specific risks, as well as what to do if you experience these issues after your procedure:
- Blood clot or damage to the blood vessel at catheter insertion sites
- Significant blood loss that may require blood transfusion
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- New or worsening valve regurgitation
- Rupture of the valve
Next Steps with MyChart
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