TAVR / TAVI, an Alternative to Heart Valve Surgery
The TAVR heart procedure (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), also called TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation), is a minimally invasive aortic stenosis treatment. During this procedure, a heart doctor replaces a patient’s damaged aortic valve using a fully collapsible replacement valve delivered via catheter. The new valve pushes the old one out of the way and begins regulating blood flow.
TAVR is an alternative for patients who aren’t candidates for traditional heart valve replacement surgery due to risk factors.
Is TAVR surgery?
No. TAVR is a catheter valve replacement procedure and differs significantly from standard aortic valve replacement, which is an open heart surgery procedure with sternotomy (chest is opened). With TAVR, a cardiologist or surgeon can access a patient’s aortic valve through the femoral artery in the groin, a large artery in the chest, or the tip of the left ventricle using a catheter and very small incisions. All chest bones remain in place.
What are the benefits of aortic valve replacement with TAVR?
Recovery time following TAVR is usually faster than a standard aortic valve replacement. Mercy was the first in Ohio to perform a TAVR with same-day discharge. The length of stay for most of Mercy’s TAVR patients is 24 hours.
Other benefits may include:
- Reduced infection risk
- Less trauma to the chest and heart muscle tissue
Can I choose TAVR instead of open heart surgery?
Many factors must be considered with a heart valve replacement, including best possible outcome, quality of life, age, health history, aortic stenosis severity, and more. Request an appointment with a cardiologist or surgeon at The Heart Hospital at Mercy.