Determining whether TAVR treatment is right for you

Treatment of aortic stenosis varies depending on the severity of the condition, your overall health, and other medical factors. If it has been determined that you need valve replacement but you cannot undergo surgery or you are considered high risk for surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be recommended.

TAVR is a new option for replacing a defective aortic valve. Unlike traditional open-heart surgery, TAVR is minimally invasive and involves much less recovery time. At the Valve Clinic at Lankenau Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team of heart specialists performs a thorough evaluation to determine whether TAVR—or another treatment—is best for you.

Lankenau Valve Clinic evaluation for TAVR

Our TAVR process involves an evaluation by two cardiac surgeons and an interventional cardiologist (a cardiologist with special training and skills in catheter-based heart procedures). At the appointment, the physicians review all necessary studies, your medical history and results of any recent tests as well as perform a physical evaluation. Specific cardiac testing is also performed before or during this diagnostic evaluation.

Upon completion of the initial evaluation, our multidisciplinary team meets to review the results of these tests and to prepare a recommended treatment plan for you.

For TAVR to be recommended, the evaluation must confirm the following:

  • You have aortic stenosis that is severe in nature and is causing symptoms.
  • You are not a candidate for surgical aortic valve replacement or you're at high risk for surgery and likely would benefit from TAVR therapy.
  • Your aortic valve and blood vessels are of appropriate size for the TAVR procedure.
  • The technical aspects of the TAVR procedure can be performed.

TAVR is not an appropriate treatment option for everyone. For example, in some cases, other medical conditions may prevent you from experiencing the expected benefits of TAVR therapy, or the risks of the procedure may outweigh the benefits. The team will consider all medical and personal factors prior to determining a proposed treatment plan.