TAVR Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Replacement

TAVR procedure treats severe aortic stenosis without open heart surgery

If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis but don’t want to undergo open heart surgery, you may want to consider transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Offered at Penn Highlands DuBois, the TAVR procedure is a minimally invasive technique that allows heart valve replacement through the groin. TAVR is considered safe and effective for most patients with severe aortic stenosis and is available to more patients than in the past. If you’re tired of being tired and out of breath due to aortic stenosis, talk to your heart doctor about TAVR.

Who needs the TAVR procedure?

TAVR is most appropriate for people with severe aortic stenosis, which is the narrowing of the aortic valve. When this occurs, blood flow from your heart to your body is significantly impacted. Without treatment, people with severe aortic stenosis will die.

Traditionally, TAVR for aortic stenosis was reserved for patients who were not candidates for open heart surgery. However, TAVR is now available for patients who are considered a low or intermediate risk for open heart surgery. TAVR is also an option for people who have had their aortic valve replaced through open heart surgery in the past but need the valve replaced again and may be at higher risk for more invasive surgery.

Read more about how patient Richard Kirsch benefited from TAVR surgery here.

What are the risks of the TAVR heart procedure?

Like with any medical procedure, there are risks with the TAVR procedure, including stroke, bleeding, extensive damage to arteries, and death. However, the risks of TAVR surgery are lower than with open heart surgery. In addition, the risks associated with having the TAVR heart procedure are lower than not treating your severe aortic stenosis, which will lead to death.

What are the differences between TAVR and traditional heart valve replacement surgery?

TAVR is much less invasive than traditional heart valve replacement surgery which is performed as open heart surgery. The TAVR procedure replaces the diseased aortic valve with an artificial valve via a catheter that is inserted through a small incision in the leg. During traditional heart valve replacement surgery, a large incision is made down the patient’s chest and the ribs are moved aside to reach the heart.

Typically, TAVR can be performed in less than an hour whereas traditional open heart surgery usually takes 3-5 hours. During the TAVR procedure, patients are under anesthesia but can be either awake or asleep. Open heart surgery patients must be under general anesthesia and completely asleep. Patients’ hearts continue to beat during the TAVR heart procedure. During open heart surgery, patients must be put on a heart and lung blood machine.

TAVR patients usually have a much shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery time than those who undergo open heart surgery.

Doctor Photo
Barnes, Brent A., DO
Specialties

Cardiology

Interventional Cardiology

Non-Invasive Cardiology

Locations

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - St. MarysA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - DuBoisA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

What is TAVR surgery?

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery for patients with severe aortic stenosis. During TAVR, a small incision is made–typically in the leg–to allow surgeons to perform heart valve replacement through the groin. The surgeon guides a small tube called a catheter through your artery to the aortic valve that needs to be replaced. The new artificial valve is compressed around a small balloon at the end of the catheter. When the surgeon reaches the diseased valve, the balloon is inflated, allowing the new valve to be positioned in place. The balloon is then deflated again and the catheter is removed.

While heart valve replacement through the groin is the most common TAVR procedure, TAVR can be performed through an incision near the shoulder, between the ribs, or in the upper chest. The TAVR procedure does not require your chest to be opened or for you to be placed on a heart and lung blood machine.

The average TAVR procedure is performed in 1 hour.

Where is TAVR surgery performed in Pennsylvania?

Outside of Pennsylvania’s major cities, TAVR is now performed at Penn Highlands DuBois in a state-of-the-art operating room that features a catheterization lab inside an operating room. This “hybrid OR” was specifically designed for the TAVR procedure.

How do I find out if I qualify for TAVR surgery?

If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis, ask your cardiologist or cardiac surgeon about the TAVR procedure. In the initial years after FDA approval, TAVR surgery was approved only for use in patients who could not survive open heart surgery. Now, however, TAVR surgery is an option for most patients with severe aortic stenosis.

TAVR Surgery at Penn Highlands Clinics
DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - St. MarysA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

763 Johnsonburg Road
St. Marys, PA 15857
814-375-3722

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - BrookvilleA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

100 Hospital Road
Brookville, PA 15825
814-375-3722

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - ClearfieldA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

807 Turnpike Avenue
Clearfield, PA 16830
814-375-3722

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - DuBoisA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

145 Hospital Avenue
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-3722

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - PhilipsburgA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

271 Railroad Street
Philipsburg, PA 16866
814-375-3722

DuBois Regional Cardiology Associates - PunxsutawneyA Partnered Service with Penn Highlands Healthcare

21886 Route 119
Punxsutawney, PA 15767
814-375-3722

Penn Highlands DuBois

100 Hospital Avenue
DuBois, PA 15801
814-371-2200


TAVR Surgery at Penn Highlands Hospitals
Penn Highlands DuBois

100 Hospital Avenue
DuBois, PA 15801
814-371-2200

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