Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Service: Type:
Minimally Invasive Surgery

Treatment Offered At

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

The human heart is a muscular organ that is made up of four chambers and there are four valves that allow blood to flow through the heart. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs where it picks up oxygen and the left side receives this oxygenated blood and pumps it to the rest of the body. Some individuals as they age may develop symptomatic ‘stenosis’ of the aortic valve in the heart. Stenosis may be caused by the build-up of calcium in the valve which doesn’t allow it to open and close properly. This leads to aortic stenosis, a very serious condition which impairs blood flow and can weaken the heart over time.

Healthy Aortic Valve - Diseased Valve Comparison

Symptoms of severe aortic stenosis may include shortness of breath, fatigue, difficulty when exercising, swollen ankles and feet, rapid or irregular heartbeat and lightheadedness or feeling dizzy. People experiencing these signs should visit their doctor.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that allows the aortic valve in your heart to be replaced with a new valve while your heart is still beating. The procedure is less invasive than traditional open-heart surgery with a much faster recovery time. A catheter is used to replace the heart valve instead of opening up the chest and completely removing the diseased valve. TAVR allows a new valve to be inserted within the diseased aortic valve, using the leaflets of the diseased valve to secure it in place.

Patients who may be candidates for this procedure are carefully evaluated by our specially trained clinical heart team before determining that TAVR is the best option for treatment. For patients not suitable for open-heart surgery, due to advanced age or certain medical conditions, the less invasive TAVR procedure could be an option. TAVR can be performed through multiple approaches, including transfemoral (in the groin), trans-subclavian (clavicle area), transapical (in the chest between the ribs) and transaortic (in the upper chest). A sheath or hollow tube is inserted into the artery and a valve covered ‘balloon’ is inflated and anchors the new heart valve in place. The valve begins to work immediately.

Evaluation to Be a Candidate for TAVR Is Offered at:

To speak to the Cardiovascular Nurse Practitioner of the TAVR Program.

Long Beach Medical Center
(562) 706-9562

Saddleback Medical Center
(949) 452-7598

Benefits of TAVR

  • TAVR offers another treatment option for patients with severe aortic heart valve narrowing.
  • The valve can be replaced less invasively through a catheter or sheath instead of having to open the chest as in traditional surgery.
  • Recovery is usually faster and less painful than traditional open-heart surgery.
  • Overall, TAVR offers patients with severe aortic stenosis a better quality of life

For more information about aortic valve stenosis and TAVR, visit

Watch the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Animation Video


Common Characteristics of TAVR Patients

  • History of stroke/CVA
  • History of syncope
  • Prior chest radiation
  • Old age
  • Frailty
  • Fatigue, slow gait
  • Reduced Ejection Fraction (EF)
  • Heavily calcified aorta
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Prior CABG
  • Prior open chest surgery
  • History of COPD
  • History of coronary artery disease
  • History of renal insufficiency
  • Diabetes and hypertension
  • History of Afib