Aortic Stenosis and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
What is Aortic Stenosis?
Aortic stenosis is the most common heart valve disease and affects approximately three percent of individuals age 65 and older. It is caused by a narrowing of the heart's aortic valve opening due to excessive calcium buildup. This keeps the valve from closing properly, which makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, the extra effort causes the heart to weaken and decreases its ability to function efficiently.
Risk factors known to influence aortic stenosis are similar to those for coronary artery disease:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Advanced age
- Gender (higher incidence in men)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Advanced (end-stage) kidney disease
- A combination of these conditions, also known as metabolic syndrome
Left untreated, aortic stenosis can lead to more serious heart problems such as heart failure or sudden cardiac death.
TAVR for Aortic Stenosis
One treatment for Aortic Stenosis is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), a procedure that St. Luke's Heart Care Team was the first to introduce to Cedar Rapids in 2016. TAVR is for patients who are high-risk or too sick for open-heart surgery. It is a less-invasive procedure whereby a replacement valve is delivered to the heart through a catheter via an artery in the groin.
TAVR greatly improves a patient's quality of life. Additionally, since it does not require a surgeon to open the chest, TAVR patients generally recover more quickly, allowing them to return to their jobs, families and lives sooner.
Why Choose St. Luke's
A Patient's Perspective
Cedar Rapids resident Myrna Smith underwent a TAVR procedure at St. Luke's and felt an immediate difference in her quality of life. She was pleased the minimally invasive procedure was available right here in Cedar Rapids and didn't need to travel out of town. Hear what Myrna says about her experience:
Listen to an Expert
Check out our recent TAVR podcast, in which Structural and Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Aref Bin Abdulhak discusses aortic stenosis, the benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement and who qualifies for the procedure.
Watch a live TAVR Procedure
Straight from the operating room, watch a live TAVR being performed on a patient:
To learn more about TAVR, any of St. Luke's other breakthrough heart procedures or to make an appointment with a cardiologist, contact St. Luke's Heart Care Clinic.