Non-invasive Option for Aortic Heart Valve Replacement Transforms Lives
Patients with severe narrowing (stenosis) of the aortic valve may benefit from transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure. Virtua Health specialists replace your aortic valve without having to open the chest or remove the diseased valve, and since the new valve begins to work immediately, you'll instantly see improvement in your symptoms and quality of life.
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital was among the first centers in the area to perform TAVR in 2012, and today is one of the leading providers of this life-changing procedure.
Virtua interventional cardiologists use a catheter threaded through an artery to insert the new valve inside your heart. Once opened with a special balloon, the new valve pushes aside the old one and begins to work immediately. TAVR takes about an hour, and you can expect to spend only one night in the hospital.
While TAVR greatly improves the quality and length of a patient’s life, there's a small chance that the procedure can lead to a stroke. As the new valve expands inside the old one, calcium, blood clots, or plaque—called embolic debris—may break off and block a vessel providing blood to the brain. In patients who are at risk, the Virtua cardiac team first inserts the Sentinel Cerebral Protection System. These tiny filters are placed in arteries that feed the brain and catch the debris. Following the procedure, the filters are collapsed and removed through a catheter.
In addition, for certain TAVR patients at high risk for complications, our team uses a new procedure called BASILICA (Bioprosthetic Aortic Scallop Intentional Laceration to Prevent Iatrogenic Coronary Artery). BASILICA prevents the valve from blocking the coronary artery.