Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
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Aortic stenosis is a narrowing or obstruction of the aortic heart valve. This affects the valve’s ability to open and close properly, impairing blood flow. When the leaflets are unable to fully open, the heart must work harder to push blood through the calcified aortic valve. Eventually, the heart muscle weakens, increasing the risk of heart failure.
If your cardiologist has diagnosed you with aortic stenosis, the Heart Team will explain your options and come up with a treatment plan that's right for you. You can rely on our Heart Team which includes cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, physician assistants and techs who work collaboratively on the best care for your specific heart condition.
What is TAVR?
TAVR is a way to replace the aortic valve without surgery. During the TAVR procedure, a prosthetic valve is delivered to the heart with a catheter, guided by x-ray and ultrasound. This procedure is less invasive and typically associated with a shorter hospital stay than with traditional, open-heart surgery. Typically, a small plastic tube, called a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery, through this the new valve is delivered.
Additionally, Balloon Aortic Valvuloplasty (BAV) remains a therapeutic option for relief of aortic stenosis symptoms. This is most often used as an interim or bridge treatment for patients who require non-cardiac surgery or treatment of other medical conditions. BAV has palliative benefits, but is not a permanent solution.
TAVR Procedure at Stamford Hospital
You will meet with the Valve Clinical Coordinator in the office who will confirm the date and time of your procedure. During this meeting, we will provide you with detailed instructions, including the medications to take or hold the day before and the day of your procedure.
We'll make sure you're pre-registered prior to arrival at the hospital. We'll bring you to a prep/holding area where a registered nurse will prepare you for your procedure. Then, we'll bring you into the procedure room.
The procedure typically takes 1–2 hours.
On average, you can expect to remain in the hospital for a total of 1-2 nights. Most of our patients are able to return home the next day.
We suggest you arrange to have someone stay with you for the first few days you are home to help you recover.
Plan on avoiding heavy lifting the first week you are home. Otherwise, you don't need to worry about any significant physical limitations.
You will need to return to the Valve Center for several follow-up appointments. We will coordinate follow-up care with your primary cardiologist before you're discharged from the hospital.
We recommend that you attend a supervised exercise program called Cardiac Rehabilitation. Stamford Health offers this outpatient exercise program at the Tully Health Center. We'll talk to you about cardiac rehabilitation during your follow-up appointments.