Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly (aortic valve stenosis).
It repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged one. The procedure involves wedging a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. The surgery may also be called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). The TAVR procedure is fairly new and is FDA approved for people with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are considered an intermediate or high-risk patient for standard valve replacement surgery.
The TAVR procedure can be performed using two different approaches, allowing the cardiologist to choose which one provides the best and safest way to access the valve:
- Transfemoral Approach: They can enter through the femoral artery (large artery in the groin), which does not require a surgical incision in the chest
- Transapical Approach: Creating a small incision in the chest and entering through a large artery in the chest or through the tip of the left ventricle (the apex).
Learn more about the TAVR procedure.