TAVR for Aortic Valve Issues
What is TAVR?
TAVR, or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, is a less-invasive procedure for fixing stiff, damaged aortic valves (a condition known as aortic stenosis) than traditional valve surgery, which involves opening the chest bone to give surgeons access to the heart. In the TAVR procedure, doctors use very small incisions to pass a thin tube called a catheter into the bloodstream. The catheter tube passes through the blood vessels until it makes its way to the heart. At that point, it can be used as a guide to send a replacement valve up to the heart along the same path, which then takes over for the damaged, old valve.
Do you think you or a loved one may be a good candidate for TAVR? Call our office at (212) 342-0444 or request a phone screening to learn more about your heart valve care options.
Who is a Candidate for TAVR?
TAVR is a treatment option for people whose aortic stenosis has been classified as “severe” by a cardiologist or cardiac surgeon. Severity, in these cases, is based on the results of clinical tests like an echocardiogram.
Initially, only people with severe aortic disease who were not healthy enough to endure the intensity of a traditional surgery were considered candidates for TAVR. Gradually, as data started to come in from these early trials, TAVR was given as an option for people with slightly less surgical risk. Each time its use was expanded, the research proved it to be a safe alternative to traditional surgery.
In 2019, The New England Journal of Medicine published results of a study comparing outcomes in 1,000 low-surgical-risk patients who underwent either the TAVR procedure or open-heart surgery. The results indicated that those who had the TAVR procedure had significantly lower rates of death, stroke, or hospitalization after one year. While future studies need to track outcomes after one-year, the results are promising in that a less-invasive approach to surgery may benefit even more people.
Call our office at (212) 342-0444 or request a phone screening to learn more TAVR for aortic stenosis.
Are There Alternatives to TAVR?
Open-heart surgery has long been considered the gold-standard approach for replacing an aortic valve. New research on the TAVR procedure has been shifting that view, but even then, there are still many situations in which open-heart surgery would be the preferred treatment option, such as in the case of people with bicuspid aortic valves or multi-valve disease. Surgical aortic valve replacement has been proven to give outstanding results for those with aortic stenosis, and it comes with low risk of complications in eligible patients. Columbia’s valve team are experts in both TAVR and open-heart surgical procedures for aortic stenosis.
Why Choose Columbia for the TAVR Procedure?
Our cardiac surgeons and cardiologists have been instrumental in the development and growth of the TAVR procedure - in fact, some of our doctors helped create the initial device and others have led the clinical trials that helped expand the procedure’s use. When it comes to TAVR, we’re proud to boast that we’re the experts the experts turn to: many other institutions offering TAVR throughout the country started only after being trained by our team.
We use our expertise and experience to give you the most careful evaluation available and the best results possible, whether you ultimately undergo TAVR, traditional surgery, or continued monitoring and medical management.
For appointments or more information, please call us at (212) 342-0444, or visit us the Columbia Heart Valve Center website. We look forward to meeting with you.
We bring together the world’s leading interventional cardiologists and valvular surgeons to create a truly multidisciplinary team. Our physicians work closely with nurse practitioners, research assistants, and clinical coordinators to create a seamless surgical experience. You can learn more about our team below:
Susheel K. Kodali, MD
Director, Structural Heart & Valve Center
Emile Bacha, MD
Chief, Division of Cardiac, Thoracic & Vascular Surgery
Isaac George, MD
Surgical Director, Structural Heart & Valve Center
Rebecca T. Hahn, MD
Director of Interventional Echocardiography
Omar Khalique, MD
Director, Multi-modality Structural Imaging
Martin B. Leon, MD
Director, Center for Interventional Vascular Therapy
Tamim M. Nazif, MD
Director of Clinical Services, Structural Heart & Valve Center
Amisha Patel, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
Allan Schwartz, MD
Chief, Division of Cardiology
Craig R. Smith, MD
Chair, Department of Surgery
Torsten P. Vahl, MD
Director, Experimental & Translational Research