TAVR: A Less Invasive Option for Aortic Valve Repair

When the aortic valve is obstructed, the heart needs to work harder to pump blood. This limits how much blood the heart can pump and may weaken the heart over time. This condition is called aortic valve stenosis.

Aortic valve replacement through open-heart surgery is the most common treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis. In this operation the diseased heart valve is removed and a new valve is inserted.

However, some patients may be too sick, or have too many other high-risk issues, to undergo open-heart surgery.

For those patients, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an option.

Also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), TAVR is a procedure that inserts a new valve inside the diseased aortic valve, and does not require the chest to be opened. Instead, a balloon-expandable aortic heart valve is inserted into the body using a catheter that travels through an incision in the patient's leg or chest.

This less-invasive procedure, which also does not require the use of a heart-lung machine, simplifies this procedure for high-risk patients.

We were the first health care system in the South Sound to offer this procedure.

Patients Eligible for TAVR

Patients with severe aortic stenosis are eligible for TAVR if open heart surgery is not an option for them because of risk factors, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Serious comorbid, or related, conditions
  • Frailty
  • Any other condition that would make open-heart surgery too risky

Schedule an Appointment

The first step in addressing your heart concerns is to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists. They have the expertise you need to evaluate, diagnose and recommend the right treatment for you. 

To schedule an appointment, or refer a patient, please call our referral line at 253-572-7320.