What is a TAVR?
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR, also called TAVI) is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a diseased aortic valve through very small openings, using catheters.
How does it work?
Similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter. Once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job of regulating blood flow.
How is TAVR different from the standard valve replacement?
Standard valve replacement requires an open heart surgery. TAVR procedures are completed through very small openings.
TAVR is fairly new but approved by the FDA for an increasing number of patients with valve diseases. The TAVR expansion is also geographic, getting regulatory approval in more countries.
Are valve diseases a major health problem in our population?
Valve diseases are a major growing public-health problem and increase with age, rising to 13% in those over 75 years of age in the general population (Lancet 2006,368:1005–11).