Cardiovascular Services > About Us > Procedures > Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

What is a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?

A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an option for patients who are deemed a moderate to high risk for surgical aortic valve replacement. A less invasive procedure, TAVR allows a new valve to be inserted within your diseased aortic valve while your heart is still beating. During the procedure, a catheter is used to direct a new valve to the site of the poorly functioning valve. Unlike conventional valve replacement, valves replaced via the TAVR method are delivered with a stent. The new valve can be inserted in a number of ways, including transfemoral (upper leg), direct aortic (upper chest) and subclavian (upper chest).

Like surgical AVR, TAVR has been shown to consistently lengthen patients’ lives and improve their quality of life. However, the procedure is not for everyone. Your heart care team will do a proper evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate.

What can I expect during the procedure?

The patient receives a sedative through an IV, but stays awake during the procedure. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin, near where the catheter will be inserted (typically in the groin area). The procedure is typically 60 to 90 minutes in length. Once the procedure is done, the catheter is removed and the insertion site is closed. The patient is then taken to the recovery area for close monitoring of his or her vitals. Bed rest lasts until the introducer (tube) is removed (which can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours).