Minimally Invasive Procedure for Malfunctioning Aortic Valves
Valve surgery is one of the many cardiac treatments provided by the expert doctors at Loyola Medicine. Skilled in both heart valve repair and replacement, cardiac surgeons at Loyola are proficient at evaluating your heart valve function and determining if surgery is right for your specific condition.
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic heart valve problem such as aortic stenosis or aortic constriction, your best course of treatment may be a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a new valve into your heart through a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) threaded through an artery in your leg. Sometimes called a percutaneous valve replacement, TAVR is an alternative to traditional open heart surgery for patients who have severe heart valve disease and need one or more new aortic valves. Loyola was the first hospital in Illinois to implant the new aortic heart valve device.
Why Choose Loyola for TAVR?
Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally recognized for our diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular conditions. We work with you to help you understand your condition and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Loyola was the only Illinois hospital to participate in the pivotal clinical trial leading to FDA approval of the Medtronic CoreValve®.
What to Expect
What You Can Expect with TAVR
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is used to replace aortic valves that are not functioning due to aortic stenosis in patients who are at high risk for open heart surgery. The new valves improve blood flow regulation and quality of life, prolong life and reduce stroke.
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic heart valve condition that requires TAVR, specialized surgeons at Loyola will implant the prosthetic aortic valve, which is designed to be inserted in a small, specialized delivery tube.
During the TAVR procedure, the delivery catheter containing the valve is inserted into an introducing sheath, which is in turn placed into your groin vessels or directly into your ascending aorta through a small one-inch incision. A small balloon is positioned across the diseased aortic valve and inflated to make room for the new valve.
An interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon then place the mechanical heart valve directly over the diseased aortic valve. When the core valve is in the proper place, a control knob in the delivery catheter is activated, releasing it. The core valve expands within the aorta, firmly attaching itself to the aortic wall. Once the new valve is secured, doctors remove the delivery catheter and the new valve takes over the function of the old aortic valve.
The prosthetic valve helps ensure that the oxygen-rich blood flows freely from your heart to your aorta and throughout the rest of your body.
What Are the Risks of TAVR?
Doctors at Loyola work to mitigate the risks associated with surgical replacement of your aortic valves. TAVR does not require a sternotomy (thorax incision), which is often required for standard valve replacement, and therefore presents fewer complications. However, as with any surgical procedure there are potential risks, which may include: