The Less Invasive Therapy for Severe Aortic Stenosis
The idea of open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve can feel scary. Luckily for more and more patients, the less invasive TAVR heart procedure may be an option.
Unlike open heart surgery, in which an incision is made across the full length of your chest to remove the unhealthy valve, TAVR uses a catheter to implant a new valve within your diseased valve. TAVR can be performed in multiple ways but the most common is through an incision in the leg.
With this less invasive valve procedure, people may return to daily activities sooner than with open heart surgery. The procedure may shorten the aortic valve replacement recovery time, which is why more patients are talking to their doctor about it.
Other TAVR benefits include:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Relief of symptoms
- Reduced pain and anxiety
- Improved heart function
- Improved quality of life following the procedure, including the ability to return to normal daily activities
To find out if TAVR is right for you, start first with your primary care provider or cardiologist and they will help make the determination. A referral from a PCP or cardiologist is required.
Your personal health history will be needed to determine your best treatment option. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of any of the following:
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
- Prior open heart surgery
- Fatigue (low energy)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Frailty (weakness)
- Prior chest radiation
- Coronary artery disease
- Kidney failure
The Northern Light Structural Heart Program team is made up of the following surgeons, interventional cardiologists, non-invasive cardiologists, and other knowledgeable professionals, including:
- David Pantino, MD, surgeon
- Darrell Hoffman, MD, surgeon
- Guillermo J. Crespo, MD, interventional cardiologist
- Isidore C. Okere, MD, interventional cardiologist
- Chae C. Choi, MD, FACC, non-invasive cardiologist
- Eddy Karnabi, MD, PhD, FACC, FASE, non-invasive cardiologist
- Christopher D. Lang, MD, FACC, non-invasive cardiologist
- Sverrir Gunnarsson, MD, non-invasive cardiologist
- Diane Hill, FNP-C, clinical coordinator
- Ann M. Johansen, FNP, clinical coordinator
- John D. Klemperer, MD, FACS, surgeon
- Matthew S. McKay, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist
It is important to note that patients must be referred to Structural Heart Program by their primary care provider or cardiologist, although you are welcome to call us at any time with questions. To learn more about Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), please contact us at 207-973-8054.