Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an innovative, minimally invasive treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at intermediate or high risk for open heart surgery.

How Does TAVR Differ From Traditional Heart Surgery?

In conventional open-heart surgery, the damaged valve is removed and replaced with an artificial valve. This surgery requires patients to have a sternotomy incision in which the chest is surgically opened to access the aortic valve.

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that uses catheters in blood vessels to replace the aortic valve with a specially designed artificial valve. The new heart valve is inserted via a small incision in a major artery. Once in place, the new valve expands, pushing the diseased valve aside to increase blood flow through the heart.

Benefits of TAVR

In addition to being less invasive, there are other, significant potential benefits for patients who qualify for the TAVR procedure, including:

  • Less time spent in ICU
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less trauma to the chest and heart muscle tissue
  • Quicker overall recovery time
  • Significantly lower cardiac and respiratory complications
  • One-eighth the blood loss of conventional open heart valve repair

Are You a Candidate for TAVR?

Here are some general guidelines about TAVR to help you and your doctor determine whether it is an appropriate procedure for you.

TAVR is FDA approved for patients who are ineligible for surgical aortic valve replacement, high-risk patients and intermediate-risk patients.

Memorial Hermann is one of a limited number of heart centers participating in TAVR research trials for low-risk patients.

You may be a candidate for TAVR if:

  • Your aortic stenosis is severe
  • You are experiencing symptoms including chest pain, heart failure, fainting, and irregular rhythms
  • Your symptoms have not improved with medication
  • You are at an intermediate or high risk for open heart surgery

You may not be a candidate for TAVR if:

  • Your aortic stenosis is only mild-moderate in severity
  • Your valve and blood vessels are not the right size for TAVR
  • Your heart is too weak or you have other untreated heart problems
  • You have problems with your aorta
  • You have had a heart attack in the last 30 days
  • You have a severe illness or infection
  • You have low risk for open heart surgery

TAVR for Aortic Stenosis

For patients who are not TAVR candidates, minimally invasive aortic valve replacement using a small 5cm incision in the upper chest is another option. You may also qualify for one of our TAVR research studies.

Your doctor is the best person to help you make the decision as to whether TAVR is a good option for you, whether it be TAVR, minimally invasive valve surgery, or conventional open heart surgery. Your doctor considers numerous factors before making a recommendation for or against TAVR. Your medical history, test results, lifestyle and personal preference all play a role.

If you are not experiencing any aortic stenosis symptoms, or have only mild symptoms, you may only require medical treatment and regular monitoring by your physician. If you are interested in learning more about our research trial for low-risk patients, please contact our research team at (713) 500-8828.

Why Choose Memorial Hermann for TAVR Treatment?

Researchers and clinicians at the Heart & Vascular Institute bringing groundbreaking discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside have made Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute one of the world's leading cardiovascular hospitals.

The Institute is known for its solid track record of innovation, outstanding outcomes and exceptional patient care. Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute is consistently ranked by national quality benchmarking organizations as a leader in clinical quality and patient safety.

Across Memorial Hermann, affiliated heart and vascular physicians treated nearly 200,000 heart and vascular patients last year alone. Our medical expertise extends from lifesaving heart attack treatments to heart rhythm disorders, treatment for advanced heart failure and complex surgeries, including the most complex vascular and heart surgeries. New minimally invasive procedures, such as TAVR, allow for life-saving interventions for people too ill for traditional open heart surgical procedures.

To refer a patient to a Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular TAVR program, please contact one of our structural heart coordinators:

To learn more about our TAVR locations or to refer a patient to the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular TAVR Program, contact your preferred location below:

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding the Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute, our cardiologists, or treatment facilities, please use our contact form below or call (713) 222-2273 for more information.

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