• Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement


  • Up to 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, a progressive disease that affects the aortic valves in their hearts. Approximately 250,000 of them suffer from severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, often developing debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal day-to-day activities, such as walking short distances or climbing stairs.

    Aortic stenosis patients can often benefit from surgery to replace their ailing valves, but only only about two-thirds of them have the procedure each year. Many aren't treated because they are decided to be ineligible for surgery, haven't received a definitive diagnosis, or because they delay or decline the procedure for a variety of reasons

    Those who don't receive an aortic valve replacement have no effective, long-term treatment option to prevent or delay their disease progression. Without it, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is life-threatening.

    What is severe aortic stenosis?

    Severe aortic stenosis causes a narrowing or obstruction of the aortic valve and is most often due to accumulations of calcium deposits on the valve’s leaflets, the flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate the flow of blood in one direction through the valve. This condition affects the valve’s ability to open and close properly, causing the heart to work harder and increasing the risk of heart failure.

    Aortic stenosis is typically a disease of older patients – typically those older than age 75 – as calcium gradually builds up over time.

    You can learn about the symptoms, treatment and more about aortic stenosis here.

    How is aortic stenosis usually treated?

    The gold standard for severe aortic stenosis treatment is open-chest surgical aortic valve replacement. It has been proven to provide symptomatic relief and long-term survival in adults. 

    During the procedure, the damaged heart valve is replaced with an artificial valve. Open-chest surgery is recommended for virtually all adult aortic stenosis patients who don't have other serious medical conditions.

    TAVR – providing hope for those with serious medical conditions

    For those who can't have traditional surgery or who are at high risk for traditional open-chest surgery, a procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is available as a treatment option.

    The Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for those with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis whose heart team, including an experienced cardiac surgeon and cardiologist, has determined they are not eligile for open-chest surgery.

    Candidates for this procedure must not have other conditions that would prevent them from experiencing the expected benefit from fixing their aortic stenosis.

    Why choose Wellmont for TAVR?

    The Wellmont CVA Heart Institute was selected as one of only 70 centers nationwide to offer transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Centers must participate in a rigorous training program.

    During this program, clinicians are trained on appropriate patient selection for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), procedure planning and device preparation.

    Before doctors are allowed to perform the procedure, they must receive training using a hands-on-simulator, as well as observe several cases performed by other certified doctors with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) experience.

    This process has been used to introduce the Edwards SAPIEN Valve in other parts of the world, ensure the technology is used only by skilled operators and that optimal patient outcomes are achieved.

  • How do I get started?

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