What is TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement)?
TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is a catheter-based procedure to treat severe aortic stenosis (narrowing). It’s also called TAVI, for transcatheter aortic valve implantation). It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing a new aortic valve without removing the diseased valve. Your doctor may recommend a TAVR if you are not able to undergo traditional open-heart surgery to replace your aortic valve. A TAVR can relieve symptoms of aortic stenosis and improve your quality of life.
Your aortic heart valve keeps blood flowing in one direction out of the heart and into the large blood vessel called the aorta. The aortic valve opens to allow blood to flow forward to the body and closes tightly so blood does not leak backwards into the heart. The aortic valve can become thick and stiff as you age, which narrows the valve’s opening. This condition, called aortic stenosis, prevents blood from flowing forward normally.
TAVR is an emerging technology that is only available at certain medical centers. A TAVR has serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a TAVR.
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