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.
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:
- Patient with severe aortic stenosis identified by referring physician
- Patient referred to valve clinic
- Additional testing completed
- Multi-disciplinary review and treatment decision by heart team
- Treatment recommendations reviewed with referring physician, patient and patient’s family
Meet our TAVR Heart Team
- Interventional Cardiologists: Dr. Jasvinder Sandhu, Dr. Christopher Morgan, Dr. Stephen D’Auria, Dr. Gauravkumar Patel
- Echocardiologist: Dr. Jeffrey Yakish
- Radiologists: Dr. Michael Gabriele, Dr. Luke Stall, Dr. Nimish Patel
- Anesthesiologist: Dr. Stephen Bader
- Valve Clinic Coordinator: Carrie Farrow, RN
- Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Operating Room Staff
- Imaging Specialists
Anthony Montani enjoyed an active lifestyle as an avid gardener and golfer. He had been managing his aortic stenosis for years, but last year he started feeling much worse and struggled to do the hobbies he used to enjoy.
“The months before the procedure, I wasn’t doing as much gardening or golfing. I just couldn’t do it,” explained Mr. Montani. He went to the Heritage Valley Heart and Vascular Center for an echocardiogram, which revealed that his condition had indeed worsened and it was time for a new heart valve.
When the doctors suggested the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, Mr. Montani was “ecstatic” and hopeful at the prospect of continuing his active lifestyle.
Mr. Montani had the TAVR procedure done at Heritage Valley Beaver Hospital. After only two nights there, he was able to return home and noted that he experienced no pain from the procedure. He kept himself moving by slowly increasing walks up and down his driveway and just a few short weeks later, Mr. Montani was right back where he wanted to be. “Seventeen days later, I was out on the golf course!”
Mr. Montani feels like the TAVR procedure gave him a new lease on life. “I feel great. At my own pace, I can do just about anything!”
To learn more about TAVR, contact Carrie Farrow, RN at 724.773.8224.