New Option for Severe Aortic Stenosis
Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR), is the gold standard for replacing the aortic valve for severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis. However, AVR is only available to patients who are healthy enough to undergo this type of surgery. That changed in late 2011 when the U.S. FDA approved the Edward’s SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure for patients who may have previously been deemed inoperable, turned down for surgery, because of other, serious health issues.
Before the approval of TAVR, inoperable patients were limited to the option of being treated with medications or procedures to temporarily open their valves.
Cooper Was the First Hospital in New Jersey to Perform a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR / TAVI)
Unfortunately, people with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, even with the best medical therapy, have a mortality as high as 50% at one year. Now with TAVR, people who may have had previous chest or heart surgeries, severe lung disease, chest radiation, or other serious medical conditions, the reasons why surgery was not an option for them before, have another chance to live better and longer lives.
Severe aortic stenosis is a mechanical problem caused by the accumulation of calcium on the valve that causes it to become progressively narrowed and stiff. The aortic valve is the main exit out of the heart for oxygenated blood. Only a mechanical fix, the replacement of the diseased valve, can cure this disease. Now, with the revolutionary TAVR procedure, many of the patients who were previously deemed too high risk to undergo surgery can have their aortic valves replaced. The TAVR procedure uses a small incisions in the blood vessels in the patient’s legs to reach and replace the aortic valve instead of incisions in their chests (open heart surgery).
Evaluation for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR / TAVI) Treatment
An evaluation for TAVR begins with an extensive, multidisciplinary evaluation of each patient. The visits include education and discussions with each patient about:
- Severe aortic stenosis
- The technical aspects of the TAVR procedure, including:
- How TAVR is different from open heart AVR
- What may be gained gain from having their valve replaced
- What is the criteria for procedure, who is a good candidate for this procedure, and what they may expect post TAVR.
To prepare for the procedure, each patient’s aortic valve, coronary arteries and the blood vessels used for access are evaluated for appropriateness. The TAVR team then meets to evaluate the patient’s study results and put together an individualized plan for the procedure. If the patient wishes to proceed with the procedure, it can usually be scheduled within the week. Patients are usually hospitalized for 4-6 days after the procedure.
Departments Specializing in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR / TAVI)
Departments at Cooper where transcatheter aortic valve replacement (tavr / tavi) is performed:
Physicians Who Specialize in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR / TAVI)
Our transcatheter aortic valve replacement (tavr / tavi) specialists include: