During transcatheter aortic valve replacement, we thread thin tubes called catheters through an artery in the leg to reach your heart. We place a new valve made from animal tissue, relieving narrowing called aortic stenosis. This approach avoids opening your chest, putting you on a heart-lung bypass machine, or making an incision in your heart.
Until TAVR became possible, open surgery provided the only treatment for severe stenosis. Our team has helped lead three expansions of TAVR’s use, each involving a different group of people and surgical risk:
Many people cannot undergo surgery to replace their valve because they might not survive the operation or might develop other serious complications. This group includes people who are sicker or previously underwent open-heart surgery. TAVR has given them hope.
TAVR recently gained FDA approval for those at moderate surgical risk as well, providing a choice between an operation and catheter treatment. Surgical heart valve repair or replacement can still provide a good option, helping people who may benefit from a longer-lasting mechanical implant. TAVR offers:
- Less pain immediately after treatment
- Less scarring
- Faster recovery
We now participate in a clinical trial studying whether TAVR’s safety and effectiveness matches an operation for people with low surgical risk.