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Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a narrowing, diseased aortic valve (aortic stenosis). TAVR is an option if your condition is considered too high risk for traditional open-heart surgery.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures in San Antonio

When the aortic valve begins to fail, surgical aortic valve replacement is often the only option for treatment.

The heart surgeons at Methodist Healthcare are specially trained in cardiovascular surgery, offering both traditional and minimally invasive options for valve replacement. As you age, your aortic valve can narrow. This condition, called aortic stenosis, can cause the heart to work harder to get the blood through, creating a shortage of blood to your organs. When this happens, TAVR may be the most viable treatment option.

For more information about aortic valve replacement surgical options, call the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

What is aortic stenosis

Aortic valve replacement is a viable treatment for severe aortic stenosis. The condition is characterized by the narrowing of the heart's aortic valve, which effectively reduces or blocks blood flow on its way from the heart to the aorta. This, in turn, supplies blood to the rest of the body.

Aortic stenosis causes your heart to begin working harder to continue pumping blood throughout your body. Over time, aortic stenosis can weaken your heart muscle and can cause the following complications:

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive alternative to traditional heart valve replacement surgery for patients with severe aortic stenosis. TAVR does not require your surgeon to open the chest cavity, like they would with a traditional, open-valve replacement. This new approach allows for the shortest and most direct route to the diseased valve resulting in a shorter procedure—two hours versus four or five hours—and shorter recovery time.

TAVR allows our highly skilled surgical team at Methodist Healthcare to insert a new aortic valve into the body via the femoral artery or by using a small incision between the ribs on the left lower chest. Both of these methods allow our surgeons to insert the replacement aortic valve directly into the heart.

Signs you may need TAVR

If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness over a period of time, you may be dealing with heart valve disease. If not treated, you can experience heart failure. TAVR can provide relief to heart disease and ultimately increase overall health.

Candidates for TAVR

Since TAVR is much less stressful than open-heart valve replacement, it is an exciting new option for older or non-operative patients who are not good candidates for more invasive surgery. Benefits of TAVR include healthier heart outcomes and better quality of life for patients who previously had no other treatment options.

Anna's story

Anna Rado is among the few Holocaust survivors in the nation and she has never let the horrific memories of her past prevent her from sharing her story over the years. After recently being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, cardiovascular experts at Methodist Hospital were able to perform a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) surgery on Anna, allowing her to continue her efforts in educating the youth on these historic events.

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