The least invasive option for aortic valve replacement is the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. TAVR is also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and percutaneous aortic valve replacement.
During this procedure, the replacement valve is delivered by a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. The catheter is threaded from a small incision in the groin and through an artery to the heart.
Benefits of TAVR
Most aortic valve replacements for patients referred to Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular are performed with either TAVR or minimally invasive surgery. Because TAVR is the least invasive option, it’s particularly good for patients at too high a risk for surgical options like minimally invasive surgery or open-chest surgery.
TAVR patients typically have shorter hospital stays than surgical patients. They also usually have no lifting restrictions during their recovery and have less pain and risk of infection.
Who is a good candidate for TAVR?
Your age, heart condition, overall health and other factors will help guide you and your cardiology team toward which heart valve replacement option is best for you. Often TAVR is recommended for older patients at greater risk from surgery, while younger patients benefit the proven greater durability of valves that can be placed using different methods.