TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is an innovative alternative to open surgery for patients with heart valve problems. If you have the valvular disease aortic stenosis, talk to the experts at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center about TAVR. At their offices in Dearborn, Detroit, and Trenton, Michigan, the practice’s experienced cardiologists can evaluate your suitability for this procedure. To learn more about TAVR and how it could help you, call your nearest office today, or use the online form to schedule a consultation.
TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is a minimally invasive procedure for replacing a damaged aortic valve in your heart with a new valve. Your ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center surgeon doesn’t need to remove the old valve using this technique. Instead, they place the new valve inside the original one.
With TAVR, your surgeon uses cardiac catheterization to position a collapsible replacement valve. Cardiac catheterization involves passing a slender, flexible pipe (the catheter) along an artery until it reaches your heart.
The new valve is on the end of the catheter. When it’s in position, your surgeon expands the new valve, which pushes the old one out of the way. The new valve can then take over the regulation of blood flow.
You might need to undergo TAVR if you have aortic stenosis. This condition occurs when the aortic valve in your heart gets thicker or forms scar tissue. The result of this stenosis is that the valve doesn’t open properly.
When your heart beats, the improperly opened valve limits blood flow from your heart. This means your heart must work harder to get sufficient blood through the valve. Untreated aortic stenosis can cause problems that include:
Mild to moderate aortic stenosis is manageable with medication. However, more severe stenosis might require further intervention. Traditionally this meant performing open-heart surgery to replace the faulty valve. Using TAVR is far less invasive, so it’s less risky, significantly reduces postoperative pain, and you make a much faster recovery.
The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team has several options when performing the TAVR procedure. This enables your provider to select the one that offers the best, safest way to access your aortic valve.
The transfemoral approach is where your provider makes a tiny cut in the large femoral artery in your groin. They insert the catheter and pass it up to your heart along the path of the artery.
The transapical approach involves making a small incision in your chest. Your surgeon then passes the catheter along a large chest artery or through the apex — the tip of your heart’s left ventricle.
If you have symptoms of aortic stenosis, talk to the ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team about TAVR. Call their office today, or book an appointment online.