Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Until now, patients with severe aortic stenosis have had to give up much of what makes life enjoyable. But a new procedure at JFK, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), means they won't have to give up hope.
JFK Medical Center is part of a select group of hospitals in the U.S. approved to offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). This is a promising new procedure for those considered too high risk for traditional heart valve replacement or those who were previously considered inoperable.
Cardiac Surgeons and Interventional Cardiologist at JFK Medical Center were among the first in the United States, as well as the first in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast to perform the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR). JFK Medical Center is one of the largest and most experienced TAVR programs in the state of Florida.
TAVR is performed on high-risk and inoperable patients with severe aortic stenosis. All patients are carefully evaluated to see if they are candidates for traditional surgical aortic valve replacement and then TAVR can be considered for treatment. The goal is to provide the best treatment for each individual patient.
Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of your aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow.
In elderly patients, severe aortic stenosis is sometimes caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral-deposits) on the aortic valve’s leaflets.
You may notice symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, light-headedness, fainting or difficulty when exercising.
It is important to remember heart valve disease often occurs with no outward symptoms and may go undetected.
How TAVR Works
Through a small puncture in the groin or upper thigh, a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery. Imaging helps the physician guide the catheter through the femoral artery to the diseased aortic valve.
The new valve is crimped down to the diameter smaller than a pencil and guided through the catheter with the help of imaging, until it reaches the diseased aortic valve.
Once it reaches the diseased aortic valve, the new valve is expanded into place and allows blood to flow through the aortic valve naturally.
The Transcatheter valve can also be inserted through alternate access if there is an issue with the peripheral artery system. These insertion sites are: Transapical, Subclavian and Direct Aortic.
Evaluation in Multi-disciplinary Valve Clinic
All potential TAVR patients are evaluated in our multi-disciplinary valve clinic. They are seen by a team of physicians including a Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Interventional Cardiologist. Our valve clinic nurses play an important role in the coordination of patient care and education of the patient and family before and after the procedure. Our patients can call the valve clinic with any questions or concerns. Our team is always available to assist.
What to Expect Following the Procedure
Although patients will need to remain in the hospital for a few days following the replacement, the actual procedure typically takes between 1-2 hours to complete. Compared to a lengthy heart surgery and a recovery that spans several months, the transcatheter aortic valve replacement demands a much smaller interruption of life activities.
Benefits and Risks
The crucial time window following a transcatheter aortic valve replacement is 30 days. During this time, patients have a higher risk of strokes and vascular disorders. Bleeding problems could also be a concern, but these instances occur more frequently with those who have undergone traditional heart surgery. Despite the risks, the development of this noninvasive valve replacement has dramatically improved the survival chances of those with aortic stenosis. So far, recovery rates have matched those of traditional surgery, while dramatically surpassing other noninvasive procedures.
Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair (TMVR)
TMVR is performed on prohibitive risk patients with severe mitral regurgitation. All patients are carefully evaluated to see if they are candidates for traditional mitral valve repair or replacement and then TMVR can be considered for treatment. The goal is to provide the best treatment for each individual patient.
How TMVR Works
Through a small puncture in the groin or upper thigh, a catheter is inserted into the femoral vein. The steerable guided catheter is advanced across a transseptal puncture into the left atrium. The clip delivery system is advanced through the guide, into the left atrium and to your mitral valve. The clip or clips are attached to the leaflets, reducing mitral regurgitation.
Mitral Regurgitation occurs when your mitral valve’s two leaflets or flaps do not close properly and some blood flows backward through the valve into the left atrium. To compensate and keep blood flowing through the body, the left ventricle pumps harder. This strain can lead to other heart complications. You may notice symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing, light-headedness or swollen feet or ankles.
To learn more about TAVR/TMVR or to see if you are a candidate for the procedure, please contact us at 561-548-4JFK (4535).