Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a relevantly new procedure to treat severe aortic valve stenosis in patients who are not cleared for an aortic valve replacement with sternotomy. Usually patients experiencing severe aortic valve stenosis will undergo open heart surgery. The TAVR procedure eliminates the sternotomy incision and is performed by threading a catheter through the femoral artery. This concept is similar to a cardiac catherization. Post-care of these patients include groin management same as post-cath patients.
Aortic stenosis causes the heart to work more which can cause weakening of the heart, chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. The TAVR procedure is used to improve quality of life in these patients by eliminating these symptoms.
With any procedure there comes complications. The most common complication I have witnessed personally in patients who have had this procedure include heart block. This is where there is a disruption in the electrical activity of the heart. This is characterized by pauses of the heart beating on an electrical monitor to even asystole which is when the electrical activity ceases and the heart is not contracting. Many patients I have cared for have had this complication and require a permanent pacemaker before discharge.