Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is valve replacement without open-heart surgery. It is also called catheter-based or percutaneous aortic valve replacement.
While open-heart (surgical) aortic valve replacement is the gold standard treatment for severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis, there are patients who are not candidates for open-heart surgery. These inoperable patients may be unable to undergo traditional surgery because of factors such as age, history of heart disease, frailty, or other health issues. For these patients, TAVR may be an option.
TAVR is a procedure that allows doctors to replace a diseased aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery. This procedure enables the placement of a balloon-expandable heart valve into the body with a tube-based delivery system (catheter), which allows the valve to be inserted through a small cut in the thigh into an artery. At Intermountain Heart Institute the Heart Valve and Structural Heart Disease Program will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether this procedure is an appropriate option. In certain cases, TAVR may not be an option because of co-existing medical conditions or disease processes that would prevent the patient from experiencing the expected treatment benefit, or because the risks outweigh the benefits.
For those who are candidates for TAVR, this therapy may provide relief from the often debilitating symptoms associated with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is a significant procedure involving general anesthesia, and placement of the valve is associated with specific contraindications as well as serious adverse effects, including risks of death, stroke, damage to the artery used for insertion of the valve, major bleeding, and other life-threatening and serious events. In addition, the longevity of the valve's function is not yet known.
Though TAVR was only recently approved by the FDA for certain patients, our center has years of experience from participating in the procedure’s research and development. We were also the first center in Utah approved to perform the procedure commercially.
During TAVR, the replacement valve is compressed on a balloon and moved to the heart by a catheter. The new valve is inflated within the patient's non-functioning valve and remains in place.
You will receive specific instructions from our TAVR coordinator, Lynn Harris. If you have questions, she can be reached at (801) 507-4795.
Where Do I Go?
TAVR is performed in a hybrid catheterization/operating room in the CV Cath Lab. On the day of your procedure, you need to come to Intermountain Medical Center – building 4 (Heart & Lung Center). Follow the signs to Patient Registration on the first floor.
If you have questions please call us: 801-507-4701.
Learn About Our Programs
Our Heart Valve & Structural Heart Disease Program is actively participating in TAVR research. While TAVR is approved by the FDA for certain patients, trials continue to explore new valve designs and different patient criteria. Learn more about TAVR research.