Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
If you’re not a candidate for aortic valve replacement surgery due to your age or overall health, you may benefit from transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)—a minimally invasive alternative. Research shows patients who get this treatment live longer and experience milder symptoms of heart failure than patients who receive only medication for aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve.
Experts in TAVR
You can feel confident UNC REX Healthcare has the experience and expertise to improve your outcome. Our team of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, anesthesiologists and other specialists has cared for hundreds of TAVR patients and was among the first in the nation to provide this treatment.
What to Expect
During TAVR, a doctor inserts a guide wire and a tiny, uninflated balloon into an artery in your groin area and threads them up to your heart. There, the balloon inflates and widens your narrowed aortic valve to make space for the valve replacement. Then, the physician threads the new valve up to your heart and implants it.
Watch an animation of the procedure and meet Lance Landvater, MD, of Rex Cardiothoracic Surgery Specialists, one of a few UNC REX Healthcare surgeons who perform TAVR.
Before TAVR, a medical professional will give you anesthetic to prevent pain and a sedative for relaxation, but you’ll stay awake during treatment. This approach, called conscious sedation, leads to fewer side effects and a faster recovery than general anesthesia.
You’ll stay in the hospital for a few days while your medical team monitors your health. In time, TAVR can reduce symptoms of aortic valve stenosis, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, weakness and rapid heartbeat.