What is TAVR?

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.

What are the benefits of TAVR?

TAVR benefits over conventional open heart surgery:

  • Less invasive
  • Quicker recovery (TAVR patients often are up and moving just hours after the procedure)
  • Shorter hospital stay (TAVR patients typically return home within a few days)
  • Available for many patients who aren’t suitable candidates for traditional open heart surgery because of advanced age or other limiting health factors

Am I a candidate for TAVR?

If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis you may be a candidate for TAVR.

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 (fainting), fatigue and swelling.

What happens during TAVR?

  1. A small incision is typically made in the groin area, and a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) with a small, uninflated balloon attached to the tip is threaded through a blood vessel.
  2. Once the catheter reaches the damaged valve, the balloon is inflated to stretch the valve opening and allow more blood to flow through it.
  3. The balloon is deflated and guided back through the vessel and removed.
  4. A new catheter containing the heart valve is reinserted into the blood vessel.
  5. The new heart valve is threaded to the heart and into the damaged valve, where it’s released. The new heart valve will take the place of the damaged one.

Why choose Ohio State for your TAVR procedure?

At Ohio State, you’ll be evaluated and treated by our world-class team of heart valve experts, ensuring that 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’ll 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 a TAVR procedure.

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Advancing care for heart valve diseases at Ohio State

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Minimally invasive treatment for severe aortic stenosis

How the TAVR Procedure Works

This video shows how the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure is performed.