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Interventional Procedures

Advanced Heart & Vascular Care

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)​

What is Aortic Stenosis
Aortic stenosis is a form of heart disease. Over the years, the aortic heart valve, which allows oxygen-rich blood to flow out to the body, may become stiff and tight, usually from calcium deposits. This can cause fluid to back up into the lungs as well as lessen the blood flow out to the body.

Common symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty walking short distances
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • No longer being able to take part in physical activities you used to enjoy

Treatment Options
Until recently, surgical valve replacement was the only treatment option for patients with aortic stenosis. However, a less invasive, catheter-based technique for replacing the diseased valve is now available called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement or TAVR. During the TAVR procedure, a long tube, or catheter, is threaded into the heart via an artery, usually in the groin. The new tissue valve is crimped onto the catheter and over a balloon. With the guidance from X-ray and echocardiography, the new valve is guided to and deployed over the existing diseased valve. The new valve begins to work immediately relieving the symptoms of heart failure.

Recovery from TAVR
Recovery from TAVR is much quicker than with traditional open heart surgery. The hospital stay is generally about 2 days. Patients are instructed to not drive or lift anything heavier than 10 lbs. for 1 week. TAVR patients must premedicated with antibiotics prior to any dental work for the remainder of their life.

Specialized Heart Team Care
PVHMC is a leader in cardiac care. Hence, patients receive the same type of advanced care found at major academic medical centers – right in their own community. Our heart team is specially trained to provide expert technology-based care that is compassionate and patient-centered. Our program provides a dedicated Nurse Coordinator that will guide patients through every step of the process, before, during and after TAVR.

Work Required for TAVR
Several tests are required to make sure that TAVR is the right procedure for you.

  • Heart catheterization – to check for another cardiovascular disease
  • Echocardiogram – to determine your heart function and degree of aortic stenosis
  • Specialized CT – to determine the accessibility of the arteries in your groin and valve size
  • Carotid ultrasound – to check for potential stroke risk
  • Dental clearance – to prevent infection of your new valve
  • Cardiac surgeon consult – although TAVR is not a surgical procedure, a cardiac surgeon is present during the procedure and is required to evaluate your specific case

After TAVR
Besides your usual medications, most patients are required to take a blood thinner for 3 - 6 months and aspirin for life. Patients will also be encouraged to participate in Cardiac Rehab to further enhance the health and quality of life.

Benefits of TAVR
TAVR improves quality of life by alleviating the symptoms caused by aortic stenosis. Patients report almost immediate relief of shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. The short recovery time allows patients to quickly return to self-care and activities of daily living.

Follow up
PVHMC is committed to assuring the best care for our patients. Therefore, we coordinate the follow up with the TAVR cardiologist and Nurse Coordinator 1 week after returning home, 30 days and 1 year following your TAVR. We are just a phone call away–909.865.9858.