The traditional surgery treatment of aortic valve stenosis is surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), which is an open-heart surgery. People may have concern at its intermediate or high risk of complications. Especially, a big portion of people who need a valve replacement are the elderly. Some of them can't undergo an open-heart surgery.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an option for them. TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure to replace a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open properly (aortic valve stenosis). Transcatheter aortic valve replacement is sometimes called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Pros of TAVR
Cons of TAVR
- lower risk
- less complications
- may be an option in replacing an existing biological tissue valve that isn't functioning well anymore
- at the minimum invasive needs
- high success rate
- not the best choice for patients younger than 70 - the bioprostheses is made from cow or pig tissue and are known to degenerate over time, while younger patients will need to use it for two or more decades
- experience in patients with bicuspid valves (two aortic valve leaflets instead of the usual three) is somewhat limited
- not approved for patients with pure aortic insufficiency (leaking aortic valves)
- may not be the best therapy in patients who need surgical correction of other cardiac issues (such as coronary artery disease and ascending aortic aneurysms)
- long-term performance is unknown since this surgery is relatively new