Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure for patients with aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the valve due to calcium deposits.
Who is a candidate for TAVR?
In 2011, TAVR was only an option for patients who were not candidates for traditional open-heart surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). Then TAVR was approved by FDA as an alternative to SAVR in patients with high and medium surgical risk in 2012 and 2016 respectively. By 2019, after two trials with low-risk patients showed TAVR has better outcomes over SAVR, the FDA has now approved TAVR as a treatment option for most patients.
Despite FDA approval, not all patients will be suitable candidates for TAVR. Gundersen's valve team, including surgeons, cardiac imaging specialists and structural heart specialists, will assess each patient and recommend the best treatment option.
How does TAVR work?
A catheter delivers a collapsed replacement heart valve to the site of the faulty valve. Once at the valve site, the new valve is expanded and lodged in place. It also pins the old valve leaflets against the artery walls out of the way as it takes over the valve function.
Learn how TAVR is performed
What are the advantages of TAVR?
Because TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure, patients usually have less pain, less blood loss, lower risk for complications, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery than with traditional open-heart surgery.