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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic heart valve that fails to open properly (aortic valve stenosis).  TAVR is the visionary alternative to open heart surgery.  The Queen’s Medical Center was the first hospital in Hawaii to share this life-saving treatment that is giving hope to heart patients who need it most.  The decision to treat aortic stenosis with TAVR is made after consultation with a multidisciplinary group of medical and surgical heart specialists who together determine the best treatment option for each individual.

Guided by X-ray images, with the heart still beating, a catheter containing a collapsible heart valve is inserted through the groin, arm or neck arteries, until it reaches the aortic heart valve.  The catheter is only about the diameter of a pen.

Once in place, the replacement valve is expanded, pushing aside the damaged old valve and the replacement heart valve begins to function immediately.

Because the procedure is minimally invasive, most patients can expect an in-hospital recovery time of one day or less.

The Queen’s Medical Center Heart Program is a recognized leader in providing high-quality, state-of-the-art heart and vascular care. Making an appointment with our world-class providers couldn’t be easier.

Through our QUEEN’S ACCESS program, please call 808-691-8808.

You will be connected to our team of highly trained cardiovascular nurses. They will provide you with personalized assistance in making an appointment with a provider that is best suited to treat your individual heart and vascular needs.

If you feel this is an emergency, please call 911

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Faster recovery than traditional open heart valve replacement (days versus weeks or months)
  • Carries less complications and is safer than open heart surgery
  • Avoids the need for open heart surgeries that require surgical sternotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Increase survival, alleviate symptoms, and improve quality of life

Because the heart valve will be working properly, the patient should start to feel better immediately after TAVR. Some patients may take longer to feel better.  TAVR will also help patients that cannot undergo surgery or have high risk for surgery live longer.

After TAVR, patients usually report:

*Being able to breath

*Having less chest pain

*Having more energy

*Being able to do everyday activities

*Feeling less anxious

Your valve doctor and clinic team will run a series of studies. After careful review of the studies by a multidisciplinary group of medical and surgical heart specialists, the determination of the best treatment approach for your case is provided, and together the decision is made to proceed with the procedure.

TAVR carries a risk of complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood vessel complications
  • Problems with the replacement valve, such as the valve slipping out of place or leaking
  • Stroke
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmias)
  • Injury to the kidneys
  • Heart attack
  • Infection
  • Death

Since TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure, most patients leave the hospital on the same day or in 1-2 days.

We recommend having cardiac rehabilitation a few weeks after the procedure. This has proven to help further strengthening, symptoms improvement and increased functionality.