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What to Expect with TAVR

What Can I Expect Before, During, and After the TAVR Procedure?

Once you have been identified by your cardiologist and cardiac surgeon as a good candidate for a TAVR procedure and your surgery date is set, the following information will be very helpful.

Before Your Procedure

You will be scheduled to come in 3 – 4 days prior to your procedure. Before you come in, a representative of our Pre-Admission Testing (PAT) department will contact you to review your current medications, give you instructions, and schedule the time for you to come in for pre-surgery tests to be completed.

  • Arrive at the designated time. 
  • Inform Lobby Security you are here for pre-procedure testing.
  • You will be directed to the Admitting Department for registration.

Bring the following:

  • CA ID/Driver’s License
  • Insurance card(s)
  • List of all current medication 
  • Copy of AD (Advance Directive) or living will if appropriate
  • Copy of Durable power of attorney

Additional Information

  • When finished with registration, Admitting will escort you to the Radiology Department.
  • For the most part, your required tests will all take place in Radiology. 
  • Inform the Laboratory Tech if you have had a blood transfusion reaction in the past.
  • Reminder: a COVID-19 test will be performed at this time. Please avoid being around anybody new before your surgery. If you think you have the symptoms of COVID-19, call your physician right away.
  • You will be screened for your blood type. Please do not remove your blood type armband (if removed, you will need another blood test done on the day of your surgery and this may delay your procedure).
  • Depending on the tests needed for you, your experience could take a few hours. 
  • After your testing is complete, you will meet briefly with the TAVR Program Coordinator to go through events on day of your procedure. When all of your tests are complete, please ask Radiology personnel to call ext. 5691. This is your opportunity to have any more questions answered.
  • You may go home after this meeting.

If you have recently been hospitalized or you have been seen in urgent care for any reason, please inform your physician or the TAVR Program Manager right away.

The Night before Your Procedure

  • Shower from neck to toes, with the Hibiclens cleansing solution sent to you by Northridge Hospital. You will be asked to shower again when you come to the hospital for your procedure. If you have some kind of allergy, please do a skin self-test before using the Hibiclens on your body. Otherwise, an acceptable alternative such as Dial soap or other antibacterial soap is OK to use.
  • Hibiclens is a skin cleanser that kills germs for up to 24 hours after you use it. It contains a strong antiseptic (liquid used to kill germs and bacteria) called chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). You can buy Hibiclens at your local pharmacy.
  • If you did not receive the solution, any antibacterial soap is an alternative to use.
  • Take nothing by mouth after midnight.
  • You may take your medicines with sips of water. 
  • If you are taking any blood thinner, you should have stopped taking it 2-3 days before the procedure date or as directed. If you forgot to stop your blood thinners, you MUST INFORM your physician immediately.

Day of Your Procedure

  • Have your family/other drop you off at the Main Lobby (driveway entrance is off of Etiwanda Ave.) and check-in with Security at the Hello Desk. Please be aware that there are currently procedures and guidelines in place due to COVID-19. You can view our current visitor guidelines here, but note that they may change as current L.A. County and City guidelines change.
  • Lobby personnel or Security will direct you to Admitting. Request a wheelchair if needed.
  • You will register again in Admitting, but only to have your forms, stickers, and an ID armband printed.
  • Admitting will then take you to the Short Stay department.
  • Once you are in Short Stay: 
  • You will change into your hospital gown, removing everything, including all undergarments.
  • An IV and solution will be started, and if further medical information is needed, it will be taken at this time.
  • Your nurse/tech will clip the hair on both sides of your groin area.
  • You will meet your Anesthesiologist in Short Stay. Be prepared to ask your questions about anesthesia.
  • Surgery staff will come to your room and bring you to the surgery operating room.

Right after Procedure (ICU)

  • More than likely, your breathing tube inserted for anesthesia will have been already removed, and your throat may be slightly sore. This is normal. You might continue to be sore for several days, which is also normal.
  • Depending on when you wake up, you are usually awake but sleepy right after the procedure.
  • Your incisions on either side of the groin were closed with a manual compression device – suture or collagen plug - depending on your anatomy or condition. Either of these will dissolve within 30 days.
  • You will need to keep your legs straight, avoid bending both legs, and lifting your head for a good 4-6 hours. This is to prevent pressure on the incision and to be sure that the incision remains closed or that a hematoma (blood under the skin) does not form at the site. If this happens, you will remain in bed for a longer period of time.
  • You will have some pain/discomfort at the incision site(s). Your nurse will keep track of your pain, and has medication to relieve you of that pain.
  • There might be an IV line by your neck or groin that was placed by the Anesthesiologist. It will be removed as soon as possible.
  • Your nurse will let you know when you can begin to have sips of water.
  • Your nurse will also let you know when you can turn or move while in bed.
  • If your procedure was done in the morning, expect to be up in a chair by the evening.
  • Physical therapy will begin the same day as your procedure or the day following the procedure
  • You may be going home in 1 - 2 days. Home visits by a home health nurse and for physical therapy will be arranged before you are discharged.

Learn More About Heart Care At Northridge Hospital Medical Center

For more information about the TAVR procedure and our Cardiovascular Center, please call Program Manager Carlyn Fostakowski, NP, at 818.855.8500 ext. 5691.  

This procedure is currently performed at Northridge Hospital by Dr. Jahandar SalehDr. Aamer Jamali, and Dr. Vasim Lala.