Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Aurora
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is an innovative, catheter-based approach to aortic valve replacement approved as an alternative treatment option for patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis who are considered a high surgical risk and unable to undergo Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR).
How Does TAVR Work?
The standard treatment procedure for patients with aortic stenosis is SAVR, in which the damaged aortic valve is removed through open-heart surgery and replaced by either a mechanical or biological valve. However, if a patient is unfit for the demanding surgery, the aortic valve can be replaced through the catheter-based TAVR approach.
Because this procedure does not require open-heart surgery, TAVR is a far less invasive method of treatment.
Using a catheter, surgeons enter the heart through either the transfemoral, transapical or transaortic arteries. In most cases, the transfemoral approach is used, but individual patient needs may necessitate alternative approaches.
After the catheter is inserted into the heart, a new valve is then inserted inside the damaged aortic valve. This new valve is then expanded, pressing against the flaps of the damaged valve and allowing blood to flow at its proper level.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is unique in that is has the potential to provide relief to patients whose health previously disqualified them as surgical candidates or who are found to be higher risk surgical candidates. Because the incisions are small and the procedure leaves chest bones intact, average hospital stays are significantly shorter for patients who undergo the TAVR procedure. However, the Heart Team will evaluate each patient on an individual basis and recommendations will be made regarding the best treatment option for that specific patient.
TAVR vs. SAVR
For patients who can tolerate SAVR, traditional open-heart surgery is still the preferred method of treatment. However, TAVR may be appropriate for patients who are either too sick for surgery or who are deemed high risk.
TAVR at The Medical Center of Aurora
Each patient’s heart is unique and requires individualized treatment. The TAVR procedure affords The Medical Center of Aurora’s team the ability to offer an alternative treatment method for patients with aortic stenosis. Our cardiac professionals can assess whether each individual case meets the criteria for TAVR.
Whether using TAVR or SAVR, our expert team at The Medical Center of Aurora will work in conjunction with the patient and referring physician to devise a treatment plan best suited to ensuring a full recovery.