Conventional aortic valve repair is a very successful operation. Most patients who have the narrowing of the aortic valve known as aortic stenosis should have their valves replaced or repaired in the usual way: through an incision in the chest. But there is a small minority of patients who are too old, weak or unstable to be survive conventional aortic valve surgery. These patients now have an alternative. The Heart and Vascular Institute is studying something called transcatheter aortic valve implementation (TAVI), as part of the PARTNER trial. The procedure involves transporting a synthetic valve to the heart through a catheter placed through a small incision in the groin or chest. Results of the PARTNER trial was recently presented at the national ACC conference and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. What you should know about TAVI:
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- TAVI is still investigational
- TAVI was performed in high risk older patients at valve centers where there is a team approach between cardiologists and surgeons
- Survival in this patient population was the same in those who received surgery vs. those who received TAVI at one year.
- There are still risks associated with TAVI
Percutaneous AVR: a) Balloon valvuloplasty; b) Balloon catheter with valve in the diseased valve; c) Balloon inflation to secure the valve; d) Valve in place
Learn more about non-surgical appraoches to valve surgery and read a chat transcript hosted by Drs. Svensson, Tuzcu and Kapadia.