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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in your upper leg or chest and moving it toward your aortic valve (TAVI). The catheter is then used to attach the new valve on top of the old one.

A TAVI is a minimally invasive technique, which implies that several little cuts or incisions are made rather than one big one. You have a better chance of recovering from your procedure more quickly if you have minimally invasive surgery.

Patients who received TAVR via a transfemoral approach (from the groin to the heart) or open heart surgery both had better outcomes than those who underwent TAVR via a chest incision. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is known as TAVI. The process and its methods are identical to TAVR. When discussing your treatment options, your doctor may use either word interchangeably.

Without removing the old, damaged valve, a replacement valve is installed during this minimally invasive surgery. The damaged valve is replaced with the new one. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve implantation are two names for the procedure (TAVI).

A minimally invasive heart treatment called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is used to replace an inadequately functioning thickening aortic valve (aortic valve stenosis). The aortic valve is situated between the body's main artery and the left lower heart chamber (aorta). It reduced blood flow from the heart to the body resulting from improper valve opening.

Chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, and weariness are some of the indications and symptoms of aortic valve stenosis that can be lessened with TAVR.

For those who run the risk of problems from surgical aortic valve replacement, TAVR may be an option (open-heart surgery). After consulting with a group of heart and heart surgery professionals to identify the best course of action for you, the decision to treat aortic stenosis with TAVR is made.

Another name for transcatheter aortic valve replacement is transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

A "sternotomy," in which the chest is surgically divided (opened) for the procedure, is typically required for valve replacement. All of the chest bones can remain in place when the TAVR or TAVI procedures are performed through extremely small incisions.

TAVR offers useful treatment choices to patients who might not have been given the benefit of a valve replacement, despite the fact that it is not without hazards. In terms of recuperation, a patient's experience with a TAVR procedure can be comparable to that of coronary angiography. TAVR is more likely to result in a shorter hospital stay than surgical valve replacement.

The cardiologist or surgeon can select which of the two methods offers the best and safest means to access the valve when performing the TAVR treatment.

• Using the transfemoral technique, which avoids the need for a chest incision by entering through the femoral artery (a major artery in the groin);

• Using a transapical approach, a minimally invasive surgical technique that involves making a small incision in the chest and entering through a major artery or the left ventricle's apex.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is used to treat aortic valve stenosis (TAVR). When the heart's aortic valve thickens and stiffens, it develops aortic stenosis, also known as aortic valve stenosis (calcifies). As a result, the valve cannot fully open, and blood flow to the body is then reduced.

Open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery could be substituted by TAVR. TAVR patients frequently spend very less time in the hospital than those who undergo surgical aortic valve replacement.

If you have: Your doctor might advise TAVR for you.

  •  A biological tissue aortic valve that isn't functioning as it should;
  •  Severe aortic stenosis with symptoms.
  •  Another medical issue that renders open-heart valve replacement surgery very dangerous, such as lung or kidney problems.

Instructions on how to get ready for transcatheter aortic valve replacement will be given by the medical staff (TAVR). If you have any inquiries about the operation, speak with your doctor.

Food and medications

Talk to your doctor about:

When should you stop eating or drinking before the procedure? When can you take your usual drugs and whether you can take them before a TAVR procedure? Any medication allergies you may have

Clothing and personal items

Your medical staff may advise you to bring a number of things to the hospital, such as:

• A list of every medication you use, including over-the-counter drugs

• Eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures;

• Personal care products, including a brush, toothpaste, and shaving supplies;

• Loose-fitting, cozy clothing;

• Items that may help you unwind, such as portable music players or novels;

During your procedure, avoid wearing:

  • Contact lenses
  • Dentures
  • Eyeglasses
  • Jewelry
  • Nail polish

What you can expect

Before the Procedure

A specialist will place an IV in your hand or forearm and may also provide a sedative to help you unwind. Through the IV, blood clot-preventing medication might also be administered. To lower the chance of infection, you might also be given medicine.

On the area of your body where the treatment will occur, hair may be shaved off.

During the Procedure

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement potential catheter access sites (TAVR) pop-up dialogue box open

Pop-up dialogue boxes are opened during transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.

A defective aortic valve is replaced with one manufactured from cow or pig heart tissue through a procedure known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) (biological tissue valve). The biological tissue valve may occasionally be inserted into a functioning biological tissue valve.

TAVR uses smaller incisions and a thin, flexible tube (catheter) to reach the heart as opposed to surgical aortic valve replacement, which necessitates a lengthy incision along the chest (open-heart surgery).

A catheter is inserted into a blood vessel and guided into the heart during TAVR by a medical professional, typically in the groyne or chest area. The clinician can better position the catheter by using moving X-ray or echocardiography images.

Through the hollow catheter, a substitute aortic valve consisting of cow or pig tissue is inserted into the affected area. The replacement valve is forced into place by the inflation of a balloon at the catheter's tip. Some valves can open without a balloon.

Once the new valve is firmly in place, the doctor removes the catheter.

The medical staff would closely monitor your vital signs throughout the TAVR surgery, including blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and respiration.

After the Procedure

After your procedure, you might be suggested to spend the night in the intensive care unit (ICU) for observation. Many factors determine how long you must stay in the hospital after TAVR. Some TAVR patients return home the next day only.

Your medical team will go over how to take care of any incisions before you leave the hospital as well as how to look out for infection signs and symptoms. Fever, increasing pain, and redness, swelling, draining, or leaking at the catheter site are warning indications of infection.

Following TAVR, a Number of Drugs, including:

  • Blood thinners (anticoagulants). To avoid blood clots, doctors usually prescribe blood-thinning medicine. How long you may need to take this medication will be explained to you by your doctor. Always take prescription drugs as directed.
  • Antibiotics. Artificial heart valves are susceptible to bacterial infection. The majority of bacteria that result in heart valve starts infections originate in the mouth. Regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene can help stop these illnesses. Several dental treatments call for the administration of antibiotics beforehand.
  • After TAVR, the new valve must undergo regular medical examinations and imaging testing to ensure it is functioning appropriately. If you experience any new or deteriorating signs or symptoms, such as:

Dizziness or lightheadedness; ankle swelling; rapid weight gain; extreme fatigue with activities; indications of infection

Seek emergency medical help if you have:

  • Pressure, tightness, or pain in the chest
  • Severe, unexpected breathlessness
  • Fainting

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