Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

A TAVI (or TAVR) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that repairs the damaged aortic valve without removing the native valve. This procedure is performed on patients with symptomatic heart disease due to severe aortic stenosis. People who are considered to be of higher risk of complications in traditional open heart Aortic Valve Replacement surgery will be considered for a TAVI.

Transcatheter Aortic Valves are designed to be implanted using a long, narrow tube called a catheter. The catheter can be inserted through a large artery in your groin or through a small incision in your chest. The valve is made of natural tissue from the heart of either a pig or cow. This is attached to a flexible expanding mesh frame.

The valve is compressed into or around the catheter and this is passed via a wire into position. When the valve is in position it is inflated slowly and it expands inside the native valve. The leaflets of the native valve helps to hold the new valve in position. Once inflated the wire and catheter is removed and the new valve will start working immediately.

There are many tests and appointments that need to be completed in workup and preparation for a patient to be considered for a TAVI procedure. These tests include; Diagnostic Angiogram, Echocardiogram, Computed Tomography (CT) Scan and review by a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. The case will also be reviewed by a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of healthcare professionals. This team comprises of Cardiologists, Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Vascular Surgeons, Physicians and Nurses. The purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss all of the information and recommend the best option for treatment.

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