When heart valve disease has progressed to the point that you have trouble breathing and enjoying daily activities, Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute has treatments that can help. One of those treatments is transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR. TAVR is a less-invasive procedure than aortic valve replacement surgery. For certain patients, it can help restore quality of life.
What Is TAVR?
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- The doctor makes a small incision in the groin area and inserts a catheter (a thin, flexible tube).
- The catheter allows for threading a collapsible valve to the heart.
- We use a valve-in-valve technique. Expanding the new valve pushes the old valve out of the way.
TAVR comes with less risk of bleeding than surgery. Patients also appreciate the quicker recovery time compared to surgery. People often leave the hospital within three days.
The FDA has not approved TAVR for all patients. Currently, TAVR is approved for people who have an intermediate and high risk for surgery, meaning that surgery might be too dangerous for them.
Why Choose Memorial for TAVR?
You have choices about where to take your heart care. At Memorial, our team will talk to you about your options and provide personalized treatment. We offer:
- TAVR expertise: We have been performing TAVR since it was first FDA-approved. We perform about 80 TAVR procedures a year. That number is growing each year.
- Valve-in-valve procedures: If you have already had a heart valve replaced with a tissue valve, we can use TAVR to put a new valve inside the old one. With this valve-in-valve technique, you may be able to avoid a second surgery. Not all heart programs are able to offer this valve-in-valve treatment.
- Team approach: Our heart team meets weekly to discuss every case. We look at heart imaging, patient information and risks. Then we decide on a case-by-case basis which treatment is appropriate for each patient. Cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists (heart doctors who perform nonsurgical procedures), cardiac anesthesiologists and heart imaging specialists work together for the benefit of the patient.
- Recognized surgical excellence: TAVR is not the right treatment for every patient. For patients who are younger and at a lower risk for surgery, we offer heart valve surgery. The Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has awarded us a 3-star rating for aortic valve replacement surgery. A 3-star rating is the highest a program can receive. Learn more about heart surgery at Memorial.
To schedule an appointment or learn more about heart and vascular care at Memorial, call 855-400-6284.