Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
For patients who have been deemed inoperable for traditional open-heart surgery, a new procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is now available as a treatment option. TAVR is a less invasive alternative to open heart valve replacement surgery and is only offered in southern Colorado at Penrose Hospital.
What is TAVR?
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a less invasive procedure performed by squeezing the valve onto a balloon and inserting it with a catheter, which is sent to the heart for implantation. This insertion is typically done through the groin, however, if the patient does not have suitable access through their leg artery, TAVR can also be inserted via an incision between the ribs and through the bottom end of the heart called the apex. Once the valve is in the right place, the balloon is inflated and the valve precisely positioned. The TAVR procedure is designed to replace the patient’s diseased valve while the heart continues to beat – eliminating the need for cardiopulmonary bypass (the use of a heart-lung machine).
Good candidates for TAVR include those with:
• Severe symptoms of aortic stenosis
• Severe symptomatic aortic valve disease
• Multiple co-morbidities
• Sickness, weakness
• Patients who are too high risk for open heart procedures
• Heart murmurs
• Renal disease
Benefits of Aortic Valve Intervention include:
• Lower mortality for high risk surgical patients
• Ability to treat patients who are otherwise inoperable
• Allows intervention for aortic valve stenosis in patients who otherwise are not a candidate for aortic valve replacement
• Extends therapy to inoperable patients
• Lower mortality in high risk surgical patients
For more information about severe aortic stenosis or TAVR, call Michelle DeGeorge, RN, BSN at 719-77MURMUR (719-776-8768).