Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) allows your surgeon to perform a valve replacement procedure without the need to open up your chest.
What Is TAVR?
TAVR is a less invasive aortic valve replacement procedure for people with severe aortic valve stenosis who are too frail or ill for traditional open-heart surgery. TAVR provides both short- and long-term relief of aortic stenosis symptoms by restoring normal aortic valve function and improving the overall quality of life and life expectancy.
At Dignity Health, the procedure takes place in a cardiac catheterization laboratory and is performed by an expert combination of surgical and intervention specialists.
What Happens During The TAVR Procedure?
During TAVR, your doctor will attach a replacement heart valve onto a balloon. Your surgeon will then transfer this balloon into your body via a catheter inserted into your leg or chest while under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will then position the new valve into the faulty aortic valve. Next, your doctor will inflate the balloon, which sets the replacement valve in place precisely.
Are You a Good Candidate for TAVR?
The FDA approves TAVR for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are too frail or high-risk for traditional open-heart surgery. After extensive testing, our cardiovascular services team will evaluate your results and determine whether you are a good candidate for TAVR.
How Long is Hospitalization?
After a TAVR procedure, you will spend about three to five days in the hospital. Immediately following the procedure, you will recover in a critical care unit. Within 24 hours or less after the procedure, your care team will transfer you to a step-down unit. Recovery emphasizes early ambulation and return to normal everyday activities.
What to Expect During Recovery
Because TAVR requires only a small incision, most people can return to normal activities within a few days, much faster than with traditional valve replacement surgery.
For more information, please view our Minimally Invasive Surgery page, or call us to Find a Doctor.