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.
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.
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.
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.
The TAVI procedure is currently approved for:
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.
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:
After the procedure, most patients can take care of themselves better and go back to everyday activities.
Most medical procedures have risks. The most serious risks of the TAVI procedure are:
The chance of an adverse event from the TAVR procedure depends on many factors, including your underlying medical conditions.
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.
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.
A heart team is a specialized care team that includes interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists, anesthesiologists, and other doctors as needed. Together, these experts work to identify and present the best treatment option for you.
A VCC is usually your first point of contact at a TAVI hospital. They will be with you throughout the TAVI journey to provide support and answer questions. They help with testing, reviewing treatments, follow-up after the procedure, and can even help with insurance-related needs.
No. Unlike open-heart surgery, TAVI does not require stopping the heart.
Depending on your health, the average TAVI procedure typically lasts between one and two hours.
Your doctor will check your valve during your regular follow-up visits.
Discuss this with your doctor. He or she can help you decide what activities are safe for you.
If you need an MRI, tell your doctor that you have a heart valve, as they will need to make changes before going through with your scan.