Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Technology, Heart Valve Replacement & the TAVR Procedure

There are many patients with calcified aortic heart valves but are too high-risk for open heart surgery. We solve that with the minimally invasive TAVR procedures. 

What is TAVR?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR is a procedure that repairs your calcified valve without removing the old one. Using a catheter, a collapsible valve is wedged into place. Once expanded it moves your old valve out of the way and begins regulating blood flow. The catheter and valve is usually inserted through a vessel in your leg (much like a heart catheterization).

Who is eligible for the TAVR procedure?

Typical heart valve replacement requires open heart surgery. If you are not eligible for this type of surgery based on other medical conditions, age or fragility, TAVR may be a viable option for you.

What are the risks?

This procedure is approved by the FDA for patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis. While every surgical operation has risks, your doctor will discuss with you specific concerns with this procedure based on your overall health. You may find it helpful to write a list of any questions you may have and bring them with you to your appointment.

What are the benefits?

Because TAVR is minimally invasive, the procedure and your hospital stay will be shorter than with traditional open heart surgery. And because this is a fairly new procedure, it provides a treatment option that wasn’t available a few years ago.

Who is on a TAVR team?

A group of highly-trained specialists perform the TAVR procedure together as a team, including:

  • A cardiothoracic surgeon
  • Interventional cardiologist
  • Surgical nurses
  • Cardiac imaging technician

Why Cardiology Associates of Savannah and St. Joseph’s/Candler?

St. Joseph’s/Candler is home to the region’s first and most experienced TAVR program and the only with fellowship-trained TAVR specialists. Using innovative technology, our specially trained surgeons are performing a minimally invasive heart valve replacement surgery for high risk patients called TAVR. The Heart Hospital at St. Joseph’s brings together surgeons, cardiologists and specially-trained staff to accomplish consultations and tests on the same day, saving you valuable time in determining the best course of action for your diagnosis.