Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) - the latest and most advanced alternative to open heart surgery
In elderly patients, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is often caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve’s leaflets. As a result, the narrowed valve allows less oxygen-rich blood to flow to the rest of the body, causing symptoms like severe shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.
While open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve is the gold standard treatment for this condition, some patients are considered too high risk for this kind of surgery. Fortunately, these patients may be candidates for a relatively new and much less invasive procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
TAVR allows a heart team to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without the neeed for open heart surgery. The procedure places a new balloon-expandable heart valve into the body through a tube-based delivery system called a catheter, while the heart is still beating.
There are three ways the new heart valve can be delivered:
1. The new valve and its catheter delivery system enter the body through an incision in the leg and into the artery. This is known as the transfemoral procedure, and would be the first choice of approach.
Valve replacement is positioned in the native aortic valve.
Valve is expanded into place
The Edwards Sapien valve is designed to function immediately in place of the diseased native valve.
2. In the transapical procedure, the catheter and new valve enter the body through an incision between the ribs and then through the bottom of the heart. This method is only available to certain high-risk patients who are not candidates for the transfemoral procedure.
3. A third method, known as transaortic (TAO) ministernotomy procedure, exists when the first two options are determined not viable.
TAVR therapy is capable of providing relief from the often debilitating symptoms associated with severe aortic stenosis. If you suffer from this condition, Palmetto Health's heart team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether TAVR is an appropriate option for you.
To make an appointment, please contact the valve center:
Darlene Andrea, RN, BSN, CCRN, Valve Coordinator
6 Richland Medical Park Dr.
Columbia, SC 29203