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Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR)


As many as 1.5 million Americans suffer from aortic stenosis (AS), which is a narrowing of the aortic valve.

If left untreated, AS will lead to heart failure. Without an aortic valve replacement, 50% of AS patients will not survive more than two years after the onset of symptoms.

At St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute, we have one of the most experienced cardiac surgery teams in the nation. 

What is Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR)?

SAVR is the primary surgical treatment for aortic valve stenosis. During this procedure, our specially trained surgeons remove the narrowed aortic valve and replace it with a mechanical valve or a tissue valve:

  • Mechanical valves are made from metal. They are durable and can last for a very long time, but they also carry the risk of blood clots on or near the valve. As a result, patients with mechanical valves will need to take anticoagulant medication for the rest of their lives.

  • Tissue valves are made with tissue that may come from a pig, cow or deceased human donor. Tissue valves will need to be replaced eventually.

  • Another type of tissue valve replacement that uses your own pulmonary valve (autograft) is sometimes possible.

  • Your doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of each type of heart valve with you.

 Learn more about heart valve surgery.

TAVR Procedure at the Advanced Heart Disease Clinic

The Advanced Heart Disease Clinic is among the select providers in the nation to offer qualified AS patients a less invasive valve replacement procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). At this time, only patients who do not have a surgical option are candidates for this procedure.

Advanced Heart Disease Clinic: Expert Valve Disease Care in Stockton

St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute created the Valve Clinic in Stockton in order to diagnose and treat heart valve disease more effectively. Our specially trained team of doctors, surgeons and nurse practitioners working collaboratively, to provide you with the best treatment options for valve disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a heart condition, call our Heart Patient Navigator at 209.467.6540. We can help answer your heart related questions and connect you to resources, information, and support.