Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally-invasive option for heart valve replacement.
What is Aortic Stenosis?
- Narrowing and hardening of the aortic valve
- One of the more common and serious heart problems many people experience as they age
Who is a candidate for TAVR?
- Most people who are told they have a heart murmur
- Many people who experience dyspnea and fatigue during daily living activities
- First, patients are scheduled for a consultation with one of our dedicated interventional cardiologists and will complete further evaluation of the heart with specific heart valve testing.
- Our structural heart program coordinator will ensure things are arranged correctly and at your convenience.
- Heart valve testing includes:
- TAVR CT – a CT (or CAT) scan to take specific measurements of the aortic valve
- Heart Catheterization – this will allow your medical team to check for coronary artery disease
How it Works
- The procedure is done by a cardiologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon team
- TAVR allows a new valve to be inserted through a catheter rather than via open-heart surgery
- The catheter is typically inserted through the leg, but can also be inserted through the arm or chest
- The new valve is inserted within the diseased valve, allowing it to function properly
What can I expect in the first few days??
- Most patients stay 1-2 nights on average in the hospital
- Light duties, no lifting, pushing, or pulling over 10 pounds for 1 week
- Daily walking is encouraged
Questions about TAVR? Contact Jenny Socci, structural heart program coordinator at (208) 625-5250 to learn more.
John Schuessler of Sandpoint, Idaho, had the TAVR procedure completed on November 15, 2015.
“I had a heart murmur since I was born, but around my 81st birthday, my primary care doctor detected a faulty valve and mentioned it to the doctors at Kootenai Heart Clinics Northwest. I went to the heart doctor and it was a good thing. I was feeling it [unwell]. They examined me and told me I was going down fast. I was told that if I pass this test there is a new procedure, [the TAVR], that allows them to insert a new valve [through a catheter rather than open heart surgery].”
What was your experience in completing the TAVR procedure?
“I haven’t been in the hospital in a long time. It was very good. Informative. The staff was great. I enjoyed them all. It was very easy. I recommend it.”
How do you feel now?
“Before I was out of breath all the time, especially when doing something active. I’m glad they caught it in time. Now I feel better. I’ve got stamina now. I have a wood stove and I cut wood, saw wood, stack wood, and chop wood. It keeps me busy in the summer and spring. I’ve rehabilitated myself and got stronger. It’s a good change.”