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Heart and Vascular Center

 
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is one of few select hospitals in the nation offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an option for patients who do not qualify for open chest surgery due to health risks or age. The procedure uses a catheter to replace the native aortic valve through an incision in the groin, eliminating the need to both open the chest and stop the heart.





TAVR Animated Demonstration





Who is Available for TAVR?

Currently, TAVR has is only available to patients needing aortic valve replacements who have been deemed "inoperable" and cannot undergo traditional open-chest surgery. This group includes patients who were not candidates due to factors such as age, history of heart disease, frailty or other health issues. Because the procedure is less invasive, patients can expect to receive less bleeding and shorter recovery times.

Patients who do not receive an aortic valve replacement (AVR) have no effective, long- term treatment option to prevent or delay their disease progression. Without it, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is life-threatening. Studies indicate that 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after the onset of symptoms without intervention.


What is aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a condition that occurs when the aortic valve in the heart becomes extremely narrow. It typically occurs in elderly patients due to calcium buildup on the heart valve leaflets over time.

Patients with severe aortic stenosis may experience symptoms, such as:

  • Severe shortness of breath leading to gasping – even at reast
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat


If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms, contact your primary care physician.





How can I get more information?

To learn more about TAVR, please call Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare at (850) 431-7397. If you are a patient who would like to be considered for the procedure, please request a referral to our Structural Heart Program from your primary care physician.