What is TAVR
TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, is performed to treat patients with severe aortic valve stenosis. This condition can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, general fatigue, and congestive heart failure. Since the TAVR procedure was FDA approved in 2011, it has become a terrific alternative to a traditional aortic valve replacement through open heart surgery for patients with this condition. In our practice, Dr. Justin Fox is the Co-Director of the TAVR program at St. Francis Medical Center and Drs. Bora Toklu and Shakil Shaikh also perform the procedure.
How Is a TAVR Performed?
Locally, the procedure is performed in the state-of-the-art hybrid operating room at St. Francis, in collaboration with the cardiac surgeons. TAVR is most commonly done under deep anesthesia (though most patients do not require a breathing tube) and the new valve is typically advanced through an artery at the top of the leg (femoral artery). The new valve is implanted in place of the old, diseased valve and begins functioning immediately.
Preparing for TAVR:
Before a TAVR is performed, patients typically require other testing including an echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization, and a CT scan. Arrangements regarding the TAVR procedure and pre- and post-procedure instructions are coordinated by the hospital.
After the Procedure:
Afterwards, patients are observed at least overnight, with a 2-3day hospital stay possible. Many patients notice improvement in their symptoms immediately after the procedure. The cardiologist may recommend certain medications, including blood thinners such as Aspirin and Clopidogrel, after the procedure.