Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure at Bayhealth provides a safe, minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery for patients with aortic stenosis who require a replacement for a damaged valve.

What is Aortic Stenosis?

One of the four valves of the heart, the aortic valve helps manage blood flow to the body. If the valve becomes damaged by age or disease, it could cause strain to the heart. The day-to-day effects of aortic stenosis include physical weakness, shortness of breath, and an inability to complete daily tasks. If left untreated, aortic stenosis could lead to heart failure.

TAVR — A Safe Alternative to Open-Heart Surgery

Replacing the aortic valve traditionally requires open-heart surgery, which can present serious risks based on your age, overall health, and other factors. The innovative TAVR procedure at Bayhealth provides a less invasive surgical option.

Our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons perform TAVR in accordance with the highest safety standards, providing exceptional outcomes that improve quality of life.

A ‘Center of Excellence’ in TAVR

Offering innovation in cardiac surgery, the TAVR program at Bayhealth began in 2016. It’s the first and only program of its kind in Delaware to receive certification from the American College of Cardiology (ACC).

“We’ve worked hard in growing and continually enhancing our TAVR program since we started it in 2016,” says Bayhealth Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon and TAVR Program Medical Director Gary Szydlowski, MD. Receiving certification by the ACC “validates that we have an excellent program with excellent results.” 

What Happens During the TAVR Procedure?

Unlike open-heart surgery, the TAVR procedure does not require any incisions. A narrow tube (catheter) is inserted into an artery in your groin. Through the catheter, the physician and cardiologist replace your damaged aortic valve with a fully functional one. Once installed, the replacement valve pushes the damaged valve aside and begins regulating blood flow.

Learn more about TAVR in the following video.

What Happens After the TAVR Procedure?

Considered a game-changer in addressing aortic stenosis, the TAVR procedure typically results in shorter recovery time compared to open-heart surgery. Following the procedure, patients stay overnight for observation and typically go home within a day or two. Learn about other procedures offered at Bayhealth.

Patient Stories

Learn about TAVR from Bayhealth patients who have experienced the procedure first-hand.

"Nothing short of miraculous."

— Connelly, the first patient to receive the TAVR procedure at Bayhealth.
TAVR patient Mike Connelly sits on a bench in a park

“The difference in my lifestyle has been tremendous. Here I am, back in action at almost 80 years old, and my energy is through the roof. I can hardly believe it.”

— John Kiefer
TAVR patient John Kiefer on the dock getting ready to go kayaking

“This has given me a new lease on life. I feel like I’m 21. Having the procedure is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

— George DeCaro,
TAVR patient George DeCaro riding on his lawn mower.

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