A minimally invasive heart procedure, TAVR is performed to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly. It can also sometimes be referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). It is a good option for people who are at high risk of complications of an open-heart surgery.
When is it required?
Thickening and calcification of the heart’s aortic valve can lead to stenosis, preventing the valve from functioning properly and opening fully, which limits blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, swelling in the leg and shortness of breath, are common fallouts and may sometimes lead to heart failure or even sudden cardiac death. Post examination and diagnostic tests to understand the seriousness of the condition, your heart team (of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons) may recommend TAVR depending on your medical history and other complications.
TAVR is usually a recommended option if:
- You are showing signs and symptoms of stenosis
- You are at risk of complications from surgical aortic valve replacement or have a Kidney or lung disease that increases your risk of complications during surgical aortic valve replacement.
- You have a tissue valve but it is not working well
Is it risky?
No more than other interventional procedures. Risk of complications like bleeding, blood vessel complications, stroke and infections remain, they are, however, minimal and depend largely on the experience of the clinical team and the medical facility.
After the procedure
One may need to spend the night in the intensive care unit for monitoring after the procedure. However, some may need two to five days recovering in the hospital.
You doctor will prescribe certain medications, including blood thinners, post the procedure and shall recommend certain lifestyle changes that are essential for the continuing good health of your heart.