This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place.
Valve-within-valve — How does it work?
Somewhat similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter. Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow.
Who is a good candidate for this type of valve surgery?
At this time the procedure is reserved for those people for whom an open heart procedure poses intermediate risk. For that reason, most people who have this procedure are in their 70’s or 80’s and often have other medical conditions that make them a better candidate for this type of surgery. TAVR can be an effective option to improve quality of life in patients who otherwise have limited choices for repair of their aortic valve.