TAVR - Pros & Cons

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These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
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
  • 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
Cons of TAVR
  • 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
   
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