Carotid Approach Now Offered for TAVR

Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular recently began offering the minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure using the carotid artery, located in the neck.

The TAVR procedure typically involves implanting a replacement valve in the heart via the femoral artery at the top of the leg. In some cases, the femoral artery isn’t usable and the medical team needs a different pathway to the heart. In those cases, studies show the carotid artery is the safest alternative.

During this procedure, the replacement valve is delivered by a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. The catheter moves from a small incision in the neck through the carotid artery and into the heart.

“Offering the carotid approach means more patients can get their aortic valve replaced without the need for open-heart surgery,” says Dr. Daniel Feldman, interventional cardiologist. This translates to many benefits, including:

  • Shorter surgery and hospital stay
  • Less pain
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Minimal lifting restrictions during recovery

Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular surgeons can replace most aortic valves with either TAVR or minimally invasive, robotic assisted surgery. TAVR is the least invasive option. It can be good choice for active patients and those at too high a risk for minimally invasive surgery or open-chest surgery.