Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), is an innovative approach to replacing the aortic valve without open-heart surgery. Instead, the valve is replaced using a catheter that is threaded through vessels in the leg into the aorta and then the heart. Percutaneous (catheter-based) procedures are options for patients who are not candidates for traditional surgical replacement. For patients whose leg arteries are not big enough to accommodate a catheter, the valve can be inserted via a small incision in the ribs – known as the transapical approach.
Who is a candidate for TAVR?
Patients with severe aortic stenosis considered inoperable or high risk by a heart surgeon, might be candidates for TAVR. Some of the reasons why patients may be at too high a risk for traditional surgery are advanced age, diabetes, COPD, pulmonary hypertension, prior chest radiation, frailty or other factors. OHSU's Complex Heart Valve team can help you determine what procedure is right for you.