Intervention for Patients Who are at High Risk or Too Sick for Open Heart Surgery
McLaren Northern Michigan is among a small and highly distinguished statewide group now performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
TAVR is for people who have been diagnosed with symptomatic aortic stenosis and are at high risk for open heart surgery due to age and other medical conditions.
Aortic stenosis is a progressive disease of the heart's aortic valve, affecting up to 1.5 million people in the US. Of that number, approximately 250,000 suffer from severe and even debilitating symptoms that can impact daily activities, such as walking short distances or even climbing stairs. Patients with aortic stenosis have a narrowing or obstruction of the aortic valve which weakens the heart and increases the risk of heart failure.
TAVR is less-invasive and does not require open heart surgery. Therefore, recovery time is usually faster.
Currently there are several ways in which the transcatheter valve can be placed. The heart team of physicians will determine the best way to place the valve for each individual patient. The most common is through an artery in your leg. This is called transfemoral TAVR. See explanation of the procedure, along with a patient success story below.
Transapical TAVR allows the heart valve to be placed by a small incision in the bottom of the heart. This is usually reserved for patients who cannot have the valve put in through the leg. See explanation of the procedure, along with a patient success story below.
The TAVR Team is a multidisciplinary group consisting of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and a highly trained clinical staff. As a collegial group, determining the best method for each individual patient is a collaborative effort.