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What is a TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation)?

A TAVI (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) is a catheter-based procedure to treat severe aortic stenosis (narrowing). It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves placing a new aortic valve without removing the diseased valve. Your doctor may recommend a TAVI if you are not able to undergo traditional open-heart surgery to replace your aortic valve. A TAVI can relieve symptoms of aortic stenosis and improve your quality of life.

Your aortic heart valve keeps blood flowing in one direction out of the heart and into the large blood vessel called the aorta. The aortic valve opens to allow blood to flow forward to the body and closes tightly so blood does not leak backwards into the heart. The aortic valve can become thick and stiff as you age, which narrows the valveā€™s opening. This condition, called aortic stenosis, prevents blood from flowing forward normally.

TAVI is an emerging technology that is only available at certain medical centers. A TAVI has serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a TAVI. 

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 5, 2013

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Medical References

Decision Memo for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) (CAG-00430N). Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. http://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/nca-decision-memo.aspx?NCAId=257. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve (THV) - P100041. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DeviceApprovalsandClearances/Recently-ApprovedDevices/ucm280840.htm. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Severe Aortic Stenosis and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. University of Pennsylvania. http://www.pennmedicine.org/heart/patient/clinical-services/heart-valve-disease/tavr-faq.html. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Transapical Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation. Cardiothoracic Surgery Network. http://www.ctsnet.org/portals/endovascular/procedures101/article05.html. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Cleveland Clinic. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/percutaneous/percutaneousvalve.aspx. Accessed July 1, 2013.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR or TAVI). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Transcatheter-Aortic-Valve-Replacement-TAVR-or-TAVI_UCM_450827_Article.jsp. Accessed July 1, 2013.

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