Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Valve replacement without open-heart surgery is now available at Community Hospital's Tyler Heart Institute.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an innovative procedure for people who need a new aortic heart valve, but who may not be good candidates for open-heart surgery because of advanced age or medical conditions.
TAVR is used to treat severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve due to calcium buildup. The valve can’t open or close properly, making the heart work harder to pump blood. Eventually, the heart weakens, which may lead to heart failure or heart attack.
Benefits of TAVR
- Minimally invasive
- Improved quality of life
- Less painful than traditional open-heart surgery
- Faster recovery than open-heart surgery
Patient Success Story
Watch this video about the first TAVR patient in Monterey County, Ted Bell, a retired fire captain who needed a new heart valve, but was too elderly for open-heart surgery. You can also read about Ted in Pulse magazine online.
How TAVR is done
In a TAVR procedure, instead of opening the chest, doctors place the new valve using a catheter, a long, narrow tube. The catheter is usually inserted through a small incision near the groin and then threaded through an artery to the heart. The valve is released in position, pushing the old valve's flaps out of the way and anchoring to the artery wall.
Who qualifies for TAVR?
TAVR can be considered for people with severe aortic stenosis who are of intermediate or high risk of complications from open-heart surgery. While open-heart aortic valve replacement remains an important option, especially for those with low risks of complications, people with aortic stenosis should be evaluated for a personalized treatment plan.
Prospective TAVR patients are fully evaluated by a mutildisciplinary team that includes:
- Interventional cardiologist, specializing in catheter-based structural heart procedures
- Cardiothoracic surgeon, specializing in open-heart procedures
- Cardiac specialists
- Cardiac imaging specialists
- Clinical nurse coordinator
- Palliative care specialist
- Additional specialists as needed