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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the heart's aortic valve to be replaced using a catheter. TAVR is an alternative to traditional open heart surgery.
The benefits of this procedure are that it is less invasive and offers a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay than conventional open heart surgery. Typically, patients are up and moving just hours after the procedure and return home within a few short days. Additionally, the TAVR procedure is an option for many patients who are not suitable candidates for open heart surgery due to advanced age or other limiting health factors.
If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis you may be a candidate for this procedure. Aortic stenosis occurs when the opening of the aortic valve becomes restricted and narrow due to a buildup of calcium on the valve leaflets. Aortic stenosis is most commonly a degenerative condition occurring in patients 65 and older as a result of wear and tear on the aortic valve. To compensate, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the constricted valve, which can weaken the heart. Aortic stenosis can result in disabling and life-threatening symptoms of congestive heart failure, including shortness of breath, chest discomfort, dizziness or lightheadedness, syncope or fainting, fatigue and swelling.
First, a small incision is typically made in the groin area and a catheter (thin, flexible tube) with a small, uninflated balloon attached to the tip is threaded through a blood vessel. Once the catheter reaches the damaged valve, the balloon is inflated to stretch the valve opening and allow more blood to flow through it. The balloon is then deflated and guided back through the vessel and removed. A new catheter containing the heart valve is then reinserted into the blood vessel. The new heart valve is threaded to the heart and into the damaged valve where it is released. The new heart valve will take the place of the damaged one.
At Ohio State, you will be evaluated and treated by our world-class team of heart valve experts, ensuring you receive the most comprehensive care available, often as part of a one-step evaluation. Our patients are treated and cared for in the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital, which has an entire floor dedicated to patients undergoing cardiac catheterization procedures such as aortic valve replacement. You will be cared for in a private, spacious room by a team of nurses and support staff who are experienced in caring for patients who have undergone your procedure.
Minimally invasive treatment for severe aortic stenosis
This video shows how the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure is performed.
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