TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Procedure)
Transcatheter aortic valve procedure (TAVR) is a minimally invasive valve surgical procedure that replaces the valve in patients with aortic stenosis. Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the heart’s aortic valve becomes narrowed. When the valve becomes narrowed blood flow is obstructed and restricted.
Not all patients are candidates for TAVR. The following tests may be used to evaluate TAVR's efficacy for you:
- Angiogram (cardiac cath): An imaging test that uses x-ray and dye to see how blood flows through your arteries and veins. You will lie on your back on an x-ray table. A small incision will be made and a small tube, called a catheter, will be inserted either in your groin or near your elbow. Dye will be injected into the vessel to make the area show clearly on the x-ray pictures. This takes up to 60 minutes.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan: An imaging test that uses x-rays to obtain detailed pictures of your heart and blood vessels. You will be injected with contrast dye through an IV. You will be asked to lie down on a bed that passes through a donut-shaped x-ray scanner to take clear images of your heart. This takes up to 60 minutes.
- Transthoracic echochardiogram (TTE): This diagnostic test (also known as an echo) uses ultrasound to obtain 3D images of the heart. While you are lying on a table, a probe will be placed on your chest wall and will use sound waves to provide detailed pictures of your heart. This usually takes 30-60 minutes.
Evaluating Your Options
A Heart Team is a specialized care team that includes interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, imaging specialists, anesthesiologists, cardiac cath lab staff, and a cardiologist. Together, the specialized Heart Team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether the TAVR procedure is appropriate for you.
With the less invasive TAVR procedure, people may return to daily activities sooner than with open heart surgery. People who undergo TAVR report improved quality of life following the procedure. Other TAVR benefits include:
- short hospital stay
- relief of symptoms (sometimes immediately)
- improved heart function
- and reduced pain and anxiety.
If you are interested in an evaluation for TAVR at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, call 847-842-4476.