Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Aortic stenosis occurs when the aorta, the main artery pumping blood from the heart, narrows or stops opening fully. This will initially cause a decrease in blood flow, chest pain, weakness, or fainting. Aortic stenosis left untreated can eventually result in further complications and fatalities. Around 30 percent of patients with this condition are ineligible for surgery, because of either ill health or old age. In these cases, noninvasive solutions are vital.
Using DASI To Monitor Valve Disease
Patients who think they may have this condition are urged to take a simple assessment to monitor their valve function yearly. The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) is a 12-item questionnaire that utilizes self-reported physical work capacity to estimate peak metabolic equivalents (METs) and has been shown to be a valid measurement of functional capacity. To assess your risk of valve disease visit IHeartMyHeart.com.
How TAVR Works
During a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, the doctor will run a catheter into the patient’s groin, moving it up the femoral artery toward the heart, eventually reaching the aortic valve. A balloon will inflate, opening the narrow valve, and a healthy cow’s heart valve will be implanted.
The South Florida Valve Institute at Northwest Medical Center
TAVR is offered at our sister facility, JFK Medical Center. The multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists, radiologists and surgeons at the South Florida Valve Institute at Northwest Medical Center evaluate each patient for eligibility and work in tandem with the team at JFK Medical Center to identify candidates for this procedure. Never before have facilities worked together to provide the community with life-saving access to a new procedure.
We are dedicated to offering patients the most leading edge, innovative and collaborative approach to the treatment of complex heart conditions.
To schedule an appointment for an evaluation with our specialized Cardiac Navigator call (954) 727-4809.
What to Expect
Although patients will need to remain in the hospital for a couple days following the replacement, the actual procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete. Compared to a lengthy heart surgery, and a recovery that spans several months, the transcatheter aortic valve replacement demands a much smaller interruption of life activities.
Benefits and Risks
The crucial time window following a transcatheter aortic valve replacement is 30 days. During this time, patients have a higher risk of strokes and vascular disorders. Bleeding problems could also be a concern, but these instances occur more frequently with those who have undergone traditional heart surgery. Despite the risks, the development of this noninvasive valve replacement has dramatically improved the survival chances of those with aortic stenosis. So far, recovery rates have matched those of traditional surgery, while dramatically surpassing other noninvasive procedures.
To learn more about TAVR, or to see whether you’re a candidate for the procedure, please contact us at (954) 727-4809.