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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): Non-Surgical Treatment

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, (TAVR), is a non-surgical, catheter-based treatment for patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis who are either at high risk for or too sick for traditional heart valve repair surgery.

This minimally invasive treatment involves inserting a new valve inside the diseased aortic valve. There are several commonly used approaches for the TAVR procedure:

  • Transfemoral - Incision is made in the leg (or slightly higher up)
  • Transapical - Incision is made between the ribs to access the lowest point of the heart
  • Transcaval – Incision is made in the vein of the leg (or slightly higher up)
  • Subclavian – Small incision is made in the chest below the collar bone

A collaborative team of Interventional Cardiologists and Cardiac Surgeons will recommend the best treatment option for you based on your evaluation.

The TAVR procedure is performed in a specialized operating room with cutting edge imaging capabilities. This non-surgical heart treatment, done through a specially designed system, allows precise placement of the new valve into the beating heart, while minimizing damage to the aorta and the heart. Once the TAVR valve is in place, the wire mesh is expanded, and the new valve begins working immediately.

What to Expect

The night before the procedure you will be allowed to eat dinner. Nothing to eat or drink after midnight except for small sips of water with medication. We will notify you which of your medications you should take the night before and the morning of your procedure.

You will be called by the ambulatory surgery unit and told what time to come to the hospital the next morning. The operating room has been specially prepared for your procedure. The anesthesiologist will give you medication shortly before your procedure begins which will make you drowsy. After your procedure you will go to the Intensive Care unit for 24 hours. From the Intensive Care Unit you will be transferred to a private room on the cardiac unit. You will be in the hospital for 2-5 days.

In addition to the TAVR physician, the following personnel will help care for you: nurse practitioners, physician assistants, specially trained cardiac nurses, pharmacists, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, dietitian, social worker, and discharge planning nurses.

Team Care Advantage

At NorthShore a team of both cardiologists and cardiac surgeons perform this procedure. This multidisciplinary approach provides patients with collaborative care and enhanced outcomes.

For More Information

For more information on the TAVR procedure or to schedule an appointment, call 847.570.2250.

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