Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure for patients with a narrowing aortic valve (aortic stenosis) that replaces the diseased valve. TAVR is an option for patients who are considered too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery.
Heart valve replacement in Palm Beach County, Florida
The HCA Florida JFK Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute is part of a select group in the U.S. approved to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
We are also the first hospital in Palm Beach County, Florida, to perform the procedure. Until recently, many patients only had the option to undergo physically demanding open-heart surgery to repair or replace narrowed valves. TAVR provides a minimally invasive way to treat moderate to severe structural heart disease in medium- and high-risk patients.
Transcatheter aortic valve surgery for aortic stenosis
For patients with aortic stenosis, the aortic valve narrows and does not fully open, causing decreased blood flow and dangerously increased pressure.
Signs and symptoms of aortic stenosis may include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting and swelling of the legs. Advanced aortic stenosis is extremely dangerous and should not be left untreated.
We offer an innovative heart procedure for aortic stenosis: TAVR. This procedure may sometimes be called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). It enables your cardiovascular surgeon to carefully replace a diseased aortic valve by using a catheter and imaging guidance.
Benefits of TAVR
Unlike traditional open-heart surgery, the TAVR procedure does not require opening the chest, stopping the heart or use of a heart-lung machine. Compared to a lengthy heart surgery and a recovery that spans several months, this catheterization procedure allows you to have a much smaller interruption of your life activities.
What to expect when undergoing a TAVR procedure
The decision to treat aortic stenosis with TAVR is made after you consult with a team of heart specialists who work together to determine a plan of care that is right for you. We provide patients with comprehensive heart and vascular care, from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and support for living a healthier life.
Before the procedure
If it is determined TAVR is right for you, your doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. It is important to feel safe and comfortable, so always talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
Your doctor will provide you with guidance on when to take your regular medications or other medications you need to begin. They will let you know when to stop eating or drinking and what you should bring to the hospital before your procedure.
During the procedure
Although patients will need to remain in the hospital for a few days following TAVR surgery, the actual procedure typically takes between one to two hours. You will receive sedation or general anesthesia during the procedure, and our teams will monitor you carefully.
Life after aortic valve replacement
You may spend the night in the intensive care unit (ICU) for monitoring after your procedure. Generally, you will spend about two to five days recovering in the hospital. You will need to follow up with your doctor regularly, especially if you notice any new or worsening symptoms.
You may need to take certain medications after your procedure, such as blood thinners, to prevent future clots. Your doctor will explain if and for how long you should take these medications.
For your safety, always take your medications as prescribed. Follow any guidance regarding lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, weight control and smoking cessation.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) explained
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