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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) for Aortic Stenosis

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) for Aortic Stenosis

University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute experts were among the first in the country to successfully perform a minimally invasive, conscious sedation transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). After more than 10 years, our continued leadership in optimal TAVR practices is recognized internationally, with our specialists teaching these techniques to physicians all over the world.

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What is TAVR?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a nonsurgical procedure in which a special long, thin tube (catheter) is threaded into a blood vessel through the groin and guided inside the heart. This procedure is much less invasive than open heart surgery and enables the implantation of a new heart valve (sometimes referred to as a transcatheter aortic valve implant) without the need of opening the chest.

TAVR has many significant benefits for patients, including:

  • Light sedation and local anesthesia
  • Minimal blood loss compared with open aortic valve surgery
  • Lower heart and lung complications
  • Shorter time in the hospital
  • Faster recovery
  • Fantastic improvement in patient quality of life

University Hospitals Featured on The Doctors

Watch a TAVR procedure performed at University Hospitals, as featured on the nationally syndicated television show The Doctors

Who Should Consider TAVR?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is indicated for patients with severe native aortic valve stenosis and patients with failed bio-prosthetic surgically implanted aortic valves.

You will meet with our team of interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and specially trained nurse, who will evaluate you to determine your candidacy for the procedure.

Why Choose University Hospitals for TAVR?

Unparalleled clinical expertise

Highest quality patient outcomes

Office visits and imaging coordinated on the same day

Quick, convenient access with sites across the region

Virtual appointment option for follow up care

Diagnostic Testing Prior to TAVR

  • An echocardiogram (ultrasound) of your heart will assess heart valves and function. Your cardiologist may have already done this test. There is no preparation for this test.
  • You will be scheduled for a heart catheterization to evaluate the blood flow to your heart muscle. This test will require you to have recent blood work and you may need to stop certain medications to prepare. The night prior to the test you should not eat or drink.
  • You will be scheduled for a special computed tomography (CT) scan to assess your heart valve and also evaluate the condition and size of the blood vessels that will be used to insert the valve. Our team will schedule this test and you may need to have blood work prior to scheduling this test.
  • You may also be scheduled for a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test for further assessment of your heart and heart valves.
  • There will be periodic blood work done.
  • There may be additional tests recommended.

Recovery After TAVR

Most of our patients stay in the hospital 24 hours or less, with some patients eligible for same day discharge. Since this is a nonsurgical procedure, you should be able to do basic activities once back home but will need some assistance for at least one week. Your home-going support should be family members or friends who can help you with things such as meal preparation and household duties. You will not be able to drive for one week or push, pull or lift anything greater than ten pounds. You may walk and do stairs slowly, but no treadmill use or strenuous exercise for at least one week.

Once you are able to bath and dress yourself comfortably along with meal preparation and getting around the house (i.e., taking stairs) without assistance, your support system and care partner can allow you to be more independent.

You will schedule a visit with our team at one week, 30 days and one year after your TAVR procedure. Virtual appointments are available as an option. After discharge, we may facilitate cardiac rehabilitation or physical therapy appointments. You should also schedule follow-up appointments with your cardiologist and/or primary care provider.

Timelines for symptom relief and amount of improvement after TAVR may vary. Some patients start feeling improvement as early as one week, and most patients feel significantly better within one month after their procedure. Combining physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation as part of the recovery process may further enhance your overall improvement.

Make an Appointment

Offering in-person and virtual visits.

Call today to see which option is right for you: 216-844-3800