Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive, life-saving procedure for patients with aortic stenosis who are considered intermediate to high risk for traditional open heart surgery procedures.
Oklahoma Heart Institute was the first hospital to perform the TAVR procedure in Tulsa.
What is Severe Aortic Stenosis?
Aortic stenosis is often caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve’s leaflets (flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate the one-way flow of blood through the aortic valve). This build-up of calcium on the leaflets impairs the aortic valve’s ability to fully open and close. As a result, the narrowed valve allows less oxygen-rich blood to flow from the lungs to the brain and rest of the body which may cause symptoms like severe shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. Eventually, the heart’s muscles weaken, increasing the patient’s risk of heart failure and death.
Severe aortic stenosis is a very serious problem. Without treatment, half of the people who feel sick from this problem die within an average of two years.
What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?
If a cardiac surgeon determines that a patient is at intermediate to high risk or too sick for open-heart surgery, TAVR is a less invasive procedure. TAVR allows a new aortic valve to be inserted within the patient's diseased aortic valve without opening the chest and while the heart is still beating.
TAVR is a state-of-the-art alternative to open-heart surgery. It is minimally invasive, requires less recovery time and is less painful.
What are the Benefits of TAVR?
Aortic valve replacement is the most effective treatment to alleviate symptoms and improve survival in patients with severe/critical aortic stenosis. The incidence of aortic stenosis multiplies with age, and as the life span of our population increases, a larger number of elderly patients will require aortic valve replacement. However, a substantial number of these patients will be intermediate to high risk for surgery. Since outcomes with medical management are uniformly poor, TAVR is a less invasive alternative for patients who are intermediate to high risk for surgery.
- Shorter recovery time
- Minimally invasive
- Significantly less pain than open heart surgery
- Life-saving option for high risk patients
What is the Recovery Time after a TAVR Procedure?
The average hospital stay is two to three days, and patients are generally up and walking the day following the procedure. TAVR is significantly less painful and less invasive than open-heart surgery.