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, advanced age, and other concerning health issues(Congestive Heart Failure, Hypertension, Diabetes, COPD)
- 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
- Dental clearance, please have your dentist confirm you are free from any active infections. Any dental concerns will need addressed prior to TAVR Procedure.
- Fax clearance letter to 208.625.5251 Attention: Jenny – TAVR
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, Structural heart Program Coordinator direct at 208.426.9153.
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.”
If you have any questions, please call 208.416.9153 to speak directly with Jenny, Structural Program Coordinator.