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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 high risk for or too sick for traditional heart valve repair surgery.  

This minimally invasive treatment inserts a new valve inside the diseased aortic valve. There are two 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.

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

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 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 given instructions on how to shower using the antiseptic cleanser. 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 you are asleep a breathing tube will be inserted and your breathing will be taken over by a ventilator (breathing machine.) After your procedure you will go to the Intensive Care unit for 24 hours. The breathing tube will be discontinued when you are fully awake. From the Intensive Care Unit you will be transferred to a private room on the cardiothoracic Surgery Unit. You will be in the hospital for 4-5 days.

In addition to the cardiothoracic surgeon the following personnel will help care for you: nurse practitioners, specially trained cardiac surgery nurses, pharmacists, music therapist, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, dietitian, discharge planning nurses and cardiac rehabilitation 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.