CaroMont Heart & Vascular

What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve that restricts blood flow. Left untreated, aortic stenosis can result in many symptoms and even death. This state-of-the-art surgical procedure combines the expert skills of interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery with advanced imaging technology to replace damaged heart valves without opening the chest.

During the procedure, a tightly collapsed prosthetic valve is guided through an artery, typically accessed via small incision in the patient’s leg, to the heart. Once in place, the NEW valve is opened and the damaged valve is pushed aside. Once open, the new valve begins working immediately. The total surgery time is typically two hours or less and recovery generally takes a few weeks.

To learn more about the procedure, watch the American Heart Association’s animation here.

Who is a good candidate for TAVR?

Currently, TAVR is the preferred treatment for patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis. The procedure is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients at intermediate or high risk of complications from an open heart procedure. These patients are typically of advanced age or have other medical conditions, such as severe lung disease or prior open heart surgeries, which may interfere with recovery.

Patients with low risk of complications are still treated with open heart surgery; however, due to its minimally invasive approach and outcomes, TAVR is expected to be the standard approach for valve replacement for all patients in the future.

Preparation and Recovery

The TAVR program at CaroMont Heart & Vascular is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of expert interventional cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists and imagingclinicians. Patients can expect an in-depth assessment by the cardiac team to determine the severity of their aortic stenosis and eligibility for TAVR. Each week, the team evaluates cases that may benefit from the procedure, ensuring several structural cardiology experts review each patient’s treatment plan.

After surgery, patients are admitted to CaroMont Regional Medical Center for monitoring. Most patients spend two days in the hospital and then return for regular, in-office follow-up at CaroMont Heart & Vascular.

Meet Our Team

The TAVR program at CaroMont Regional Medical Center is an extension of the many services provided by CaroMont Heart & Vascular. This cutting-edge procedure relies on a highly trained and skilled surgical team comprised of highly experienced, skilled physicians including Interventional Cardiologists, Dr. Amish Sura and Dr. Harpreet Bhalla, and cardiac surgeon Dr. James Greelish, as well as Cardiac Anesthesiologists.

The cardiovascular team at CaroMont Heart & Vascular has a strong team approach to caring for patients. That is particularly evident with the TAVR procedure because it requires a significant level of skill and collaboration not only with the doctors, but also with the entire surgical team. This level of expertise places the program among the top cardiovascular teams in the state, and the commitment to collaboration means that patients are always put first.

Meet Dr. Bhalla, Dr. Greelish and Dr. Sura and the many talented experts at CaroMont Heart & Vascular.