Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Though better off now than a decade ago, today’s patient still faces risk with any surgical procedure. The heart is especially tricky. The heart surgeon’s goal is to correct a problem within the heart without causing any damage to the surrounding tissue. Since heart surgery can take a long time, surgeons need to ensure that their patient is healthy enough to withstand the procedure.

Severe aortic stenosis, also called an aortic valve obstruction, can weaken a person’s heart by causing it to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Patients may feel weak, dizzy, have no tolerance for exercise, or be unable to complete their daily functions. Without treatment, severe aortic stenosis can lead to more heart problems and even death.

Aortic valve replacement can get a patient back on track and open heart surgery is the standard.

Not every patient can undergo open heart surgery for a valve replacement; perhaps they are too weak, or their surgeon and cardiologist do not think they will be able to recover. For these patients, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) may be the best chance they have.

Compared to open heart surgery for valve replacement, TAVR is minimally invasive. The TAVR team inserts a catheter into the femoral artery (through the patient’s groin or leg) and uses it to push a replacement valve into place. The new valve expands to fill the space, pushing the old valve out of the way.

To learn more about Bayhealth’s Valve Clinic and our TAVR program, or to refer a patient please call 302-744-6600.