Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation/Replacement(TAVI/TAVR)
The heart is our most invaluable organ. It pumps blood throughout our body, ensuring that every tissue and cell gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs. All the oxygen loaded blood to the body passes through the aortic valve.
What happens when a valve isn’t functioning properly?
The function of the heart is a delicate process. Over the years, due to the wear and tear the aortic valve gets increasingly calcified and narrowed. This can lead to breathlessness, Chest pain, dizziness and heart failure.
What is the treatment
In most cases, the narrowing of the valve takes many years or even decades. Hence in most cases this is closely observed with yearly heart scan. However, if a certain severity criterion is met, then it’s usually advised to have it replaced. It should ideally be done before it started damaging the heart’s structure or function. Aortic valve replacement is a typical an open-heart surgery where a metal or tissue valve is replaced with the worn-out valve.
However, in the last couple of decades the valve is being replaced via keyhole surgery from the groin where the scar is less than half an inch. The procedure is called TAVI/TAVR which stands for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation/Replacement. No large scar in the middle of the chest and usually the patient is discharged same day. In addition, this is carried out in local anesthesia and hence without needing putting you in deep sleep. In fact, it is the standard/recommended treatment now for any patient over the age of 75.
At King’s College, our doctors are experts in their field and provide compassionate care. If you or a loved one is battling issues with your heart, schedule a consult with the team at King’s College today. See how we can help you feel your best.
What does the TAVI?TAVR surgery look like?
In TAVI/TAVR the native valve is changed with a bovine (cow) tissue valve. The patient is investigated with the CT scan and an angiography to ensure we know all about your valve. Then its discussed in the multi-disciplinary heart team to ensure this is the best course of action. After this, patient is advised and then procedure is performed through small incision in the groin. A cathedral (a thin and flexible tube) with a replacement valve is guided through blood vessels to the diseased valve.
The replacement valve is placed inside of the diseased valve. It opens the valve, allowing for proper blood flow between the heart chambers to occur.
Once the replacement valve is in position, it takes over the job of regulating blood flow. The medical team ensures the proper functioning of the new valve before the end of the surgery and assesses blood flow before removing the catheter.
Advantages of TAVI/TAVR:
- Minimally Invasive: TAVI/TAVR is less invasive than traditional open-heart surgery, typically resulting in shorter recovery times and reduced hospital stays.
- Suitable for High-Risk Patients: TAVI/TAVR is often considered for patients who are at higher risk or considered inoperable for open-heart surgery due to age or existing health conditions.
- Faster Recovery: Patients undergoing TAVI/TAVR generally are discharged the following day compared to traditional surgery.
- No Chest Opening: The procedure avoids the need for a large chest incision, which can be advantageous for certain individuals.
Considerations and Limitations of TAVI/TAVR:
While TAVI/TAVR is a suitable option for many patients, it may not be appropriate for everyone. The decision is based on individual health factors and the severity of the condition.
Are you concerned about your heart? At King’s College Hospital, we provide quality service with compassionate providers. Schedule your consultation today to see how we can better your future.
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