Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a damaged aortic valve with a new one. This is done under sedation through the groin vessel. This procedure does not involve opening the chest surgically and is associated with much shorter downtime. TAVR has revolutionized the treatment of aortic stenosis, a condition where the aortic valve narrows, limiting blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. It has become a popular alternative to traditional open-heart surgery, particularly in elderly patients or those who are at high risk for complications
The first successful TAVR was performed in 2002 in France. With rapid advancements in technology and technique, it has become a viable option for patients with aortic stenosis who are at intermediate or low risk for complications.
In recent years, TAVR has continued to evolve and improve. One significant advancement has been the development of newer, more advanced valves. These valves are designed to better mimic the function of a healthy aortic valve and have shown improved outcomes in clinical trials.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the recovery time for TAVR?
Recovery time varies depending on the patient, but most patients are able to leave the hospital within a day or two of the procedure. Full recovery typically takes 2 to 4 weeks.
Is TAVR a permanent solution?
Yes, TAVR is a permanent solution for aortic stenosis. The new valve should last for many years, though additional procedures may be necessary in the future.
Who is a candidate for TAVR?
Candidates for TAVR are typically elderly patients or those who are at high risk for complications from traditional open-heart surgery. A team of physicians will evaluate each patient to determine if TAVR is the appropriate treatment option.
Is TAVR covered by insurance?
Yes, TAVR is typically covered by insurance. However, coverage may vary depending on the patient’s insurance provider and specific plan.
What are the risks associated with TAVR?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with TAVR. These risks may include bleeding, infection, stroke, and damage to surrounding organs. However, the risks of TAVR are generally lower than those associated with traditional open-heart surgery.