Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
Duke cardiac specialists have more experience and better outcomes with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures than most medical centers in the U.S. TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery used to treat severe aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve in high-risk patients. TAVR can increase heart function, quality of life and survival in patients with no other option.
TAVR: Minimally invasive valve replacement option
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement, also called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive procedure during which a prosthetic valve is implanted within the diseased valve to treat aortic stenosis. The new valve restores blood flow, improves your heart’s function, and allows you to return to more daily activities. You may be a candidate for TAVR if you are symptomatic and are at high risk or ineligible for open heart surgery because of other health problems. Our early involvement in the development of TAVR through clinical trials means we have more experience with this procedure, which leads to higher success rates for you.
Choose a Duke heart clinic for transcatheter aortic valve replacement because we offer:
- Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center 5th in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.
- More treatment options. Our specialists are skilled in multiple TAVR devices (CoreValve and Sapien) and multiple delivery approaches (through the leg and chest). As a result, we offer treatment options to the vast majority of patients who are eligible for this procedure. Centers with access to only one valve device may only be able to offer treatment to half of the eligible patient population.
- Better outcomes. We have demonstrated better survival rates and fewer complications with TAVR than other centers. Our survival rates are higher than the national average.
- A team of skilled experts. A specially trained, experienced team of interventional cardiologists, surgeons, radiologists and others is involved in every transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure we perform. Together, the team reviews your unique set of needs and determines the best treatment plan.
- High speed imaging. Your heart is constantly in motion, making it challenging to get a still image. Our high-speed cardiac imaging capabilities allow us to get a clear picture of your heart which helps us determine the right device, the right approach, and the right treatment plan for you.
- TAVR for more patients. Our involvement in an international study evaluating the effectiveness of TAVR in patients with less severe aortic stenosis, and who are at a lower risk for open heart surgery, means we can offer this approach to more people.
TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT
Minimally invasive techniques
Doctors use different minimally invasive techniques depending upon your unique needs. Two of the most common approaches are transfemoral and transapical. Both offer less scarring and blood loss and faster recovery compared to open heart surgery.
A catheter is placed into the femoral artery, located in the groin, and guided to the heart. The valve device is then delivered to the heart through the catheter. This approach is well-tolerated in the majority of patients.
An access point is created by making a small incision in the chest. This approach is used in smaller patients for whom the transfemoral approach may not be an option.