A TAVR procedure, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to repair an aortic valve that is not functioning properly. This procedure was initially reserved for patients who would be more at risk if they underwent an open heart surgical procedure to replace the damaged valve, such as patients with severe aortic stenosis. However, the success of the TAVR procedure has made it a standard option for many patients.
In a TAVR procedure:
A prosthetic, balloon-expandable heart valve is put in place to regulate normal blood flow without removing the damaged valve
A tube-based delivery system, or catheter, is used to insert the new valve into place, typically through an artery in the leg
The prosthetic valve is then expanded to push the old valve out of the way and regulate normal blood flow through the aorta
Because it is performed using a catheter, the TAVR procedure often involves a faster recovery time and shorter hospital stay than open heart surgery. TAVR procedures are regularly performed by board-certified interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at the Tampa General Hospital Heart & Vascular Institute, which features more than 77,000 square feet of space, eight operating rooms outfitted for cardiac surgery, six cardiac catheterization labs, seven interventional radiology suites, a hybrid operating room in TGH’s Heart Valve Center, and 47 pre- and post-procedure rooms.
Additionally, the cardiovascular team for TAVR procedures at TGH includes non-invasive cardiologists, diagnostic radiologists, and cardiac care nurses, all dedicated to providing the highest level of care for patients. TGH has received numerous accreditations and certifications from the American College of Cardiology, including Heart Failure Accreditation for its commitment to quality patient care. Because of our commitment to excellent care, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Tampa General Hospital as “high performing" in Heart & Vascular care, meaning we are ranked in the top 10% in the nation for 2023-24.
TAVR Q & A
Q: Am I a candidate for the TAVR procedure?
A: If you have severe aortic stenosis and have been told that you are not a good candidate for open heart surgery, TAVR may be right for you. Patients referred to the Tampa General Hospital Heart Valve Center for TAVR evaluation will have testing performed to determine if they are candidates for the procedure. Our nurse navigator will assist you through this process. To reach the nurse navigator, please call (813) 844-TAVR (8287).
Q: What type of tests will need to be done?
A: Our team needs a lot of information about you, your heart and your overall health. Patients being evaluated for the TAVR procedure will need to have a cardiac echocardiogram (Echo) and a cardiac angiogram (cardiac cath) performed. Some patients may need additional testing, which will be determined by the medical team.
Q: Does the TAVR procedure require a hospital stay?
A: The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes 3 to 4 hours. The average hospital stay following a TAVR procedure is 4 to 7 days. To view more information on TAVR, click here.