Valve Replacement without Open Heart Surgery

The aortic valve is the main opening through which your heart pumps out blood to your whole body.  Aortic stenosis (AS) is a disease that slowly narrows the opening of your aortic valve over time.  When the valve becomes calcified and stiff, it is not able to open all the way.  This decreases the volume of blood and oxygen being supplied to your body and it makes your heart muscle work much harder to squeeze blood through the smaller opening.  As a result, patients with severe AS can experience fainting and chest pain.  Eventually, their heart muscle can weaken and enlarge, leading to congestive heart failure and heart rhythm abnormalities.

Historically, the standard treatment for aortic stenosis has been surgical valve replacement, which is open heart surgery.  However, some patients are deemed to be too sick to withstand open heart surgery.  

What is TAVR?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) was developed for patients deemed to be moderate or high risk for conventional valve surgery or open heart surgery.  TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your interventional cardiologist and cardiac surgeon to deliver the replacement valve via a catheter inserted into the large blood vessels in the leg.  The proceduralists will guide the valve into position inside your existing aortic valve using special X-ray and ultrasound imaging to maneuver inside a patient’s heart.

The TAVR procedure has many advantages: 

  • No chest incision
  • Less anesthesia required
  • Quicker recovery
  • Fewer activity restrictions afterward your procedure
  • A shorter hospital stay of 1-2 days
  • No chest tubes
  • No need to use the heart bypass machine. 

How do I choose my valve center if I want to be considered for TAVR?

It is important to choose a heart center that has experience with structural heart disease. All physicians on the valve team at Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Center have undergone extensive training specific to TAVR. Physician and staff training is on-going as new technologies are developed.

Who is the Valve Team?

Your valve team consists of Interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists,  advanced practice providers, a Valve RN Coordinator, image specialists, nurses and techs, your dentist, and appointment schedulers. Your cardiologist and surgeon will determine which valve is the best one for you based on your valve anatomy and health history.

Dr. Randy Stark, Interventional Cardiologist        

Dr. Jeff Chambers, Interventional Cardiologist     

Dr. Todd Drexel, Interventional Cardiologist   

Dr. Jong Kim, Cardiothoracic Surgeon      

Dr. Jonathon Boksberger, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Brian Tell, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Emily Smeltzer, Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Chad Olinger, Cardiovascular Imaging Specialist

Dr. Sajad Mir, Cardiovascular Imaging Specialist

Dr. Amin Rahmatullah, Cardiovascular Imaging Specialist

For any questions regarding TAVR, please contact:

Peg Demmer, RN, BSN    763-236-7003 or peg.demmer@mhvi.com