If you or someone you care for has recently been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, the process of evaluating treatment options can be overwhelming. But it's important to understand your options and take action before your aortic stenosis becomes life-threatening.
In the past, the only option patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis had was open heart surgery, but today patients have other options. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is a less invasive option than open heart surgery for treatment of severe aortic stenosis. Instead of opening the chest to remove and replace the diseased valve, the TAVR procedure (also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation, or TAVI) uses a catheter to implant a new valve within your diseased valve. Because this treatment is less invasive, it can help you get back to the activities you love faster than open heart surgery.
The most important thing to know about aortic stenosis is: don't wait to seek treatment. If you think you may have severe aortic stenosis, or if your doctor has already diagnosed you, it's important to take action and get back to the activities you love.
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How the TAVR Procedure Works
Today, TAVR is available to more patients than ever, depending on their risk for open heart surgery.
Unlike open heart surgery, where the surgeon opens the chest to remove and replace the unhealthy valve, the most common TAVR method involves the insertion of a new valve through a small incision in the leg. This is known as the "transfemoral approach." Using a catheter, the new valve is guided into place within the heart. When properly positioned, the catheter is removed, and the new valve takes over, allowing the heart to pump blood more easily throughout the body.
The TAVR procedure is less invasive than open heart surgery, and is performed while the heart is still beating. Most TAVR patients are able to return to their normal activities more quickly than with open heart surgery, which typically requires weeks or months of recovery.
Other TAVR Approaches
As an alternative to the transfemoral approach, your physician may choose one of the following:
- Subclavian Approach - Through an incision near the shoulder
- Transapical Approach - Through an incision in the chest, between the ribs
- Transaortic Approach - Through an incision in the upper chest
Is TAVR Right For You?
Only a TAVR Doctor can evaluate you for both TAVR and open heart surgery to determine the best treatment option for you. Your TAVR Doctor will perform some tests (such as an angiogram and an echocardiogram) to assess if TAVR is suitable for you. To learn more about TAVR, request a Free Info Kit. The kit contains a list of TAVR Hospitals near you where you can find a TAVR Doctor to evaluate you to determine the best treatment option for you.
Keep in mind, aortic stenosis is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. Don't wait. Take control of your severe aortic stenosis. Request your Free TAVR Info Kit, and learn more about all your treatment options today.Request Your Free TAVR Info Kit Today