Doylestown Hospital brings aortic valve replacement to those who cannot have open-heart surgery.
What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?
TAVR is heart valve replacement for patients with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis, who are not a candidate for surgery. TAVR has improved quality of life and has improved survival of patients with severe aortic stenosis.
What is Severe Aortic Stenosis?
Patients with serious heart valve disease may be diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that does not permit normal blood flow. The aortic valve is the largest artery in the body, and carries the entire output of blood to the systemic circulation. Symptoms of heart valve disease or aortic stenosis include include:
- chest pain
- fatigue and shortness of breath
- lightheadedness or fainting
- difficulty when exercising
Without valve replacement treatment, the heart will get weaker, increasing the risk of heart failure. Without aortic valve replacement, 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after symptoms begin.
How TAVR Works
The heart valve procedure to replace the severely diseased native aortic valve can be performed without open-heart surgery in two ways:
During the valve replacement procedure, a collapsible heart valve is placed into the body via catheter through a femoral artery the groin (transfemoral approach) or through the chest (transapical approach).
What Happens During the TAVR Procedure?
- The heart continues to beat –therefore, cardiopulmonary bypass is not required.
- The flaps of tissue (valve leaflets) that open and close to regulate the flow of blood in one direction are sewn onto a balloon-expandable stainless steel frame.
- The valve is crimped down to the diameter of a pencil, then delivered into the body via a transfemoral delivery system.
- The delivery system allows for controlled placement, to minimize impact to surrounding structures within the heart.
- Once in place, the Transcatheter Heart Valve functions like a normal, healthy valve with proper blood flow.
Who Performs the TAVR Procedure?
TAVR procedure was approved by the FDA in November of 2011. The Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is one of only a few cardiac programs in the region to offer this advanced heart valve procedure for severe aortic stenosis. The surgery is performed by a multidisciplinary team of Heart Institute cardiologists, interventional radiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons.
TAVR Team at The Richard A. Reif Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital includes:
The Valve Clinic at The Richard A. Reif
Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital
595 W. State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
The Valve Clinic at the Heart Institute of Doylestown Hospital is actively evaluating patients as candidates for TAVR and provides consultation or second opinion services for those seeking heart valve surgery options. To learn more or to schedule a visit, please call: 215-345-2328.