Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a less-invasive method of replacing a diseased aortic valve with a new prosthetic valve. TAVR is usually performed for aortic stenosis in patients who are high-risk for open surgery. This type of valve surgery does not involve removing the diseased valve, but rather places a new valve inside your own valve.
TAVR can be performed through an artery in the leg or through small incisions in the chest. TAVR is performed without the heart-lung machine, and without stopping your heart during the operation. The new valve is inserted through a catheter and expanded into place.
The benefits of TAVR are quicker recovery, and the option for aortic valve surgery for patients who may not tolerate the risks of open surgery. The surgeons at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio have been performing TAVR since 2012 and are actively involved in research trials of the newest types of valves.