Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a less invasive procedure performed to treat aortic valve disease. TAVR is a new and innovative approach. It is an alternative treatment option for patients who are at moderate, high or extreme risk for an open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery. The procedure is performed by replacing the diseased aortic valve (which fails to open properly) with new a valve. Thus, it restores blood flow and reduces signs and symptoms of aortic stenosis.
Why is it done?
Your doctor will recommend you for a TAVR if:
- You are diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis.
- You are at a high risk of complications from surgical aortic valve replacement due to comorbidities.
- You are elderly.
What happens during the procedure?
Your doctor will closely monitor your heart function, rhythm and any other changes in your heart function that may occur. The procedure can be done under mild sedation or general anaesthesia depending upon your condition. A catheter will be guided into the femoral artery (in the groin) and directed into the chambers of the heart. A new valve will be placed directly inside the diseased aortic valve. Once new valve is positioned properly, the catheter is removed from your blood vessel and site is closed.
How long will it take?
The takes approximately 1-2 hours to perform TAVR, depending upon your condition.
What happens after the procedure?
Post-procedure our doctors will monitor your condition and how your heart is functioning. You will be encouraged to walk. Depending upon your recovery, you might require hospitalisation of 2 or 5 days. Follow-up visit after discharge will be schedule.
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What is aortic stenosis and what are its symptoms?
Aortic valve is one of the heart valves in our body’s blood circulation system. Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease that occurs due to narrowing of aortic valve, thus resulting in restricted opening or closing of valve. This further results in obstructions or reduction of blood flow to the body and making the heart work harder.
Aortic stenosis occurs due to:
- Calcium build-up in the valve
- Congenital heart defect
- Rheumatic fever
- Degenerative process due to age factor.
Symptoms of aortic stenosis are:
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or fainting
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitation or murmur
- Swelling in your legs
What pre-operative investigations would be done?
If you are diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis, an echocardiogram and coronary angiogram will be performed. Investigations such as X-rays, CT scans, blood tests etc. will be performed to check your health condition.
How to take care of myself at home?
- Arrange someone at home to help you for initial few days of your recovery.
- Take plenty of rest.
- Do not lift heavy weights.
- Avoid driving till further advice from your doctor.
- Follow your doctor’s advice and take the prescribed medications without fail.
- In case you notice any redness or discharge at the site of incision, fever or worsening pain, call your doctor immediately.
How will be my life after TAVR?
TAVR is a revolutionary technique that has transformed lives of patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis. TAVI or TAVR is often the best choice for patients who due to some reason were found unfit for surgical aortic valve replacement. TAVI or TAVR gives you a way to live your golden life without open heart surgery. TAVR being a less invasive procedure, may shorten your recovery time and reduce hospital stay. The quality of life improves after TAVI in terms of mobility and usual activities.
With a healthy lifestyle, significant dietary changes and including light exercises in your daily routine, TAVI will be the beginning of a new life for you .
UPDATED ON 15/11/2023