Minimally Invasive Option for Valve Replacement

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure for patients who have aortic stenosis and are not candidates for traditional aortic valve surgery.

The aorta is the main artery that carries blood out of the heart through the aortic valve. When a person has aortic stenosis, his or her aortic valve does not open fully, which decreases blood flow from the heart to the body. Severe forms of aortic stenosis can prevent sufficient blood from reaching the brain and other organs.

Aortic stenosis usually develops later in life and is caused by calcium deposits that narrow the valve. Symptoms can include chest pain, breathlessness, fainting or weakness during activity and sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations). However, people who have aortic stenosis may have no symptoms until late in the course of the disease. The diagnosis is usually made when a heart murmur is detected and the proper tests are performed.

How Does TAVR Work?

TAVR involves a collapsible valve that’s expanded at the site of the old valve and takes over regulating blood flow. The valve is inserted using minimally invasive surgery and a catheter. The new valve is usually inserted through an artery in the groin and then guided through the arteries into the heart. TAVR can also be performed through a small incision on the chest wall, directly through the aorta or from an artery under the collarbone

The device then expands and takes over the original valve’s function to allow oxygen-rich blood to flow efficiently out of the heart.

Find a Doctor

Candidates must be carefully evaluated by a cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon to determine if they are eligible for treatment.

To find a specialist at Spring Valley Hospital, please call our free physician referral service at 702-388-4888.

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