In 2013, Torrance Memorial launched a program to perform a new minimally
invasive heart valve replacement procedure for high-risk patients. With
the beginning of 2016, the program celebrates a significant milestone—completion
of more than 100 procedures, the highest volume in the South Bay.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is performed on patients with aortic stenosis, (heart valve narrowing)
who, because of other health complications, might not survive open surgery.
During TAVR, a catheter slightly larger than a pen is inserted in the
artery in the leg/groin and carefully passed up into the heart. A replacement
valve made of bovine (cow) tissue and supported on a metal stent is then
implanted inside the narrowed aortic valve.
The procedure is conducted in Torrance Memorial’s state-of-the-art
Hybrid Operating Room located in the Lundquist Tower. The Hybrid OR features sophisticated imaging
catheter-based procedures, but it also meets the sterility standards and has the equipment of a
traditional operating room. The TAVR team has a track record of technical
excellence in its performance of the procedure. In addition, Torrance
Memorial uses the most advanced, and smallest device, which is only available
locally at Torrance Memorial.
A TAVR procedure is not without risks, but it provides beneficial treatment
options to people who may not have been candidates for valve replacement
a few years ago. It also provides a bonus of faster recovery in most cases—on
average about three to five days.