Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement at UnityPoint Health - Meriter

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly (aortic stenosis). TAVR is sometimes referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). TAVR may be an option for patients identified as high-risk or inoperable due to an increased risk of complications.

What is Aortic Stenosis?

There are four chambers of the heart and four valves of the heart. The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of your aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow. It may be due to a birth defect, rheumatic fever, radiation therapy, or can be related to age.

Aortic stenosis is one of the most common forms of cardiovascular disease in the United States, behind hypertension and coronary artery disease. It can range from mild to severe.

About TAVR

Our skilled cardiothoracic surgeons carefully evaluate each patient to determine which approach is best, based on the patient's medical condition and other factors. If our cardiothoracic surgeons determine that a patient is too high risk for open heart surgery and medicine is not effective, TAVR may be an option.

TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure most commonly performed by placing a catheter in the femoral artery (in the groin) and guiding it to the heart. A new heart valve is sent through the catheter and positioned directly inside the diseased valve. A tiny balloon is inflated to keep the valve in place, replacing the old diseased valve. Once implanted, the device begins to work immediately. The procedure may also be performed through a small incision between the ribs.

A Valve within a Valve

TAVR now offers an option to patients who have already had open heart surgery to replace their aortic valve and now require a second surgery to replace the failing surgical valve. The TAVR Valve-In-Valve procedure option allows patients at high or greater surgical risk with failed surgical valve or stenosis to avoid an additional open-heart surgery.

Expert Care

Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists, anesthesiologists, imaging specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses/technicians, all with specific training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of patients for TAVR. Our skilled surgeons extensively trained to perform TAVR are:

Our comprehensive cardiovascular services also include a Heart Failure Clinic, Anticoagulation Clinic, Vascular Care Center, Wound Care Center, Cardiovascular Rehabilitation, and a 24-hour Chest Pain Center, among many other services.