Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

New Heart Valve

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure for patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis. It is a less invasive alternative to open heart surgery and is a viable option for patients who cannot have surgery or for whom surgery is too risky. Heritage Valley Beaver is one of only five hospitals in Southwestern Pennsylvania to offer the revolutionary procedure.

What is TAVR?  

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is used to implant a new valve within the damaged valve.  

During the transfemoral approach, a small incision is made in the patient’s leg and a catheter is inserted, giving access to the patient’s heart through the femoral artery.  The new heart valve is compressed onto a balloon, placed in the delivery system, and then guided to the patient’s aortic valve. Once it reaches the damaged valve, the balloon is inflated and expands the new valve into place. The leaflets of the damaged valve will hold the new valve in place and it will begin working immediately.

The catheter is placed into the damaged valve. The balloon inflates, pushing the new valve into place. The damaged leaflets hold the new valve into place.


Benefits of TAVR

Because the procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery, there are considerable potential benefits for patients who qualify for TAVR:

  • Faster recovery time
  • Quicker relief of symptoms
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less trauma to the muscle tissue

Who is a Candidate for TAVR?

You may be a candidate for TAVR if:

  • You have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis
  • You cannot have open heart surgery due to age or other risk factors
  • Your symptoms have not improved with medical therapy

Heritage Valley’s TAVR Heart Team uses a cohesive, multi-disciplinary approach to decide if a patient is a good candidate for the TAVR procedure:

1. Patient with severe aortic stenosis identified by referring physician
2. Patient referred to valve clinic
3. Additional testing completed
4. Multi-disciplinary review and treatment decision by heart team
5. Treatment recommendations reviewed with referring physician, patient and patient’s family

Meet our TAVR Heart Team

  • Interventional Cardiologists:  Dr. Jasvinder Sandhu,  Dr. Christopher Morgan 
  • Echocardiologist: Dr. Jeffrey Yakish 
  • Cardiothoracic Surgeons:  Dr. Alvise Bernabei,  Dr. Dinesh Bhaskaran 
  • Radiologists:  Dr. Michael Gabriele,  Dr. Luke Stall,  Dr. Nimish Patel,  Dr. Nadeem Iqbal
  • Anesthesiologist: Dr. Stephen Bader
  • Valve Clinic Coordinator
  • Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Operating Room Staff
  • Imaging Specialists

To learn more about TAVR, contact Carrie Farrow, RN at 724.773.8224.