Heart Healthy Minute: What is TAVR? by UnityPoint Health - Cedar Rapids - February 8, 2022 Dr. Richard Kettelkamp Interventional and Structural Cardiologist, Medical Director St. Luke's Heart Care Services Interventional and structural cardiologists treat patients suffering from blocked arteries, valve disease and structural abnormalities of the heart. One of the most common and serious valve conditions is aortic valve stenosis, the narrowing of the aortic valve opening due to the buildup of mineral deposits like calcium. This generally occurs during the aging process but can also present in patients born with a valve condition such as only having two leaflets instead of three. Symptoms of aortic valve stenosis include chest pain, fainting and shortness of breath. Without treatment it can lead to death. Because aortic valve stenosis is a mechanical problem, there are no medications that can treat the issue. The only option is valve replacement. One of the newest procedures is called transaortic valve replacement TAVR. This allows us to replace the aortic valve through a catheter instead of open-heart surgery. The catheter is inserted into an incision in the groin neck or arm and travels through the blood vessels to the heart. Once the valve is in place, we expand it with the catheter, and it begins to work immediately. Most patients can go home the following day after TAVR. Learn more about TAVR and the advanced procedures only available at St. Luke's Hospital, or call St. Luke's Heart Care Clinic at (319) 364-7101 for more information.