For patients who have been diagnosed with severe aortic valve stenosis and who are high-risk or too sick for open-heart surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an alternative to receive a new heart valve without undergoing open-heart surgery.

As a result of a pivotal new Partner Trial, the FDA has approved the use of the Edwards' Transcatheter Heart Valve, which utilizes a minimally invasive procedure to implant a new valve using a method very similar to the implantation of a stent. Therefore, patients whose conditions were previously thought to be untreatable can now receive a new valve without open heart surgery.

What Is Aortic Stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is when a valve is too narrow to pump blood effectively, due to calcium buildup, high cholesterol or a birth defect. Aortic regurgitation is when a valve cannot close fully, causing blood to leak backward through the valve. Both problems cause your heart to work harder, which can weaken heart muscle. Severe aortic stenosis is usually caused by calcium buildup over time. Without treatment, the heart can quickly deteriorate, increasing the risk for heart failure.

How Does TAVR Work?

During the procedure, a catheter is inserted either into the patients’ groin, or directly into the lower part of their heart muscle, and a balloon-expandable aortic valve is positioned and deployed within their existing valve, helping expand the passageway. After the procedure, which requires a short hospital stay, most patients feel the immediate benefit of improved blood flow.

TAVR Candidates

Your cardiologist is the first person to tell you whether you or a loved one may be a candidate for the transcatheter aortic valve replacement. The Lundquist Lurie Cardiovascular Institute has established a valve service where high risk patients can be evaluated by a team of cardiologists and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons. However, the process starts right in your own doctor's office, where many of the preliminary test are performed. Your doctor will work closely with Torrance Memorial's TAVR team to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment. Your doctor will remain involved every step of the way.

Is TAVR Right For You?

  • For more information about the TAVR procedure, call 310-517-4790
  • Need a physician referral? Call our physician referral line 310-517-4700 or view our online physician directory.
  • For professionals, click here to learn more about TAVR procedure. For additional information call 310-517-4790.

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