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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

What is a TAVI procedure?

Torso illustration with callouts showing TAVR access points

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis. TAVI is less invasive than open-heart surgery, and the procedure typically takes less than one hour. Your heart team will determine if you should have a mild sedative or general anesthesia.

At the start of the procedure, your doctor will make a small cut in one of three typically used access routes: a small cut in the groin (1), the neck (2), or a space between your ribs (3).

The doctor will guide a thin, flexible tube with the heart valve into your artery and to your diseased valve. Throughout the procedure, your doctor will be viewing images of your heart.

The TAVI heart valve will be placed in your diseased valve. Your new valve will work immediately. Your doctor will remove the tube and close the cut.

TAVI procedure recovery

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After the procedure, most patients spend a few hours in the intensive care unit (ICU) before transferring to a patient room. Typically, patients begin walking the same day as their TAVI procedure and are discharged within a day or two.

Illustration of a patient in green walking toward a healthcare professional in blue while holding onto a portable IV

Before you leave the hospital, your doctor will explain what kinds of activities you can do, what medications you need to take, and when you will need to see your doctor again. You will also be given an information card about your new TAVI heart valve.

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You will be asked to return to the valve clinic to have your heart valve checked at 30 days and one year after your procedure, and as recommended by your physician. If you have concerns, discomfort, or changes in your health, be sure to let your doctor know right away.

IThere are significant risks associated with TAVI procedures. Each patient is different, and the potential risks and benefits are based on individual treatment and health conditions. Speak to your doctor for more information about what you can expect.

Benefits and risks

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The TAVI procedure is currently approved for:

  • Patients with heart disease due to symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis of their native valve
  • Patients with a failing surgical aortic valve who are at high risk or extreme risk for complications during surgery

Your doctor can determine your risk category based on several factors, including age and other medical conditions that might make surgery more dangerous for you.

Benefits of TAVI

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You should start feeling better right away. This is because your heart valve is now working properly. Some patients may take longer to feel better.

Many TAVI patients report benefits like:

  • Having more energy
  • Breathing normally
  • Experiencing less pain
  • Experiencing fewer symptoms
  • Feeling less anxious

After the procedure, most patients can take care of themselves better and go back to everyday activities.

TAVI procedure risks

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Most medical procedures have risks. The most serious risks of the TAVI procedure are:

  • Death
  • Stroke
  • Serious damage to the arteries
  • Serious bleeding (a bleeding event that requires a blood transfusion)
  • Need for permanent pacemaker

The chance of an adverse event from the TAVR procedure depends on many factors, including your underlying medical conditions.

The TAVI valve cannot be used for patients who:

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  • Have a serious infection
  • Cannot take medications that reduce the risk of blood clots
  • Have a reaction to some metals

If the TAVI valve is used in these patients, it will not work properly. This could make you feel sick or even cause death.

For some patients, the TAVI procedure risks may outweigh the benefits. Please talk to your doctor to decide whether this therapy is right for you. 

As the global aortic leader with more than 800,000+ patients treated worldwide over 25 years, we have an ongoing commitment to patient care. We are pleased to know about the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) recommendation for the inclusion of thoracic and abdominal endovascular repair (T/EVAR) aortic stent grafts in the implant subsidy list (ISL) in Singapore. This recommendation will help treat patients requiring structural support for an aortic aneurysm in line with specific criteria.

We’re looking forward to helping even more patients with aortic conditions. Click here to get the detailed criteria for patients and recommendations in the Technology Guide:

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

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How do I know if TAVI is right for me?

TAVI may be a good option for you if you are having symptoms and if tests performed by your heart team show that it may be helpful. TAVI may also be an option for you if you are at risk for open-heart surgery. All severe aortic stenosis patients who are experiencing symptoms should be evaluated for all of their valve replacement options, including TAVI.

What is a heart team?

What is a valve clinic coordinator (VCC)?

Does my heart need to be stopped for TAVI?

How long is the TAVI procedure?

How do I know if my TAVI heart valve is working properly?

What kinds of exercise can I do?

Is it safe to have an MRI with a TAVI heart valve?