Who Is A Good Candidate for TAVR?

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Have you been diagnosed with aortic stenosis or another condition that requires a valve replacement? If so, you may want to consider transcatheter aortic valve replacement. However, not everyone is a candidate for this type of valve replacement. No matter what type of valve replacement your physician recommends, you can rest assured that our skilled and experienced heart care doctors will provide you with the highest quality of care.

Who is a Candidate for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?

For those who have severe narrowing of the aortic valve and are at a high risk for open-heart surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement may be the best treatment option. The valve replacement team at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital evaluates each patient to determine if transcatheter aortic valve replacement is the right choice.

This comprehensive assessment includes:

  • Questions about each patient’s everyday life - what the patient can and cannot do for himself/herself, his/her living situation and heart symptoms. We ask these questions to get a complete picture of each patient’s health and to start planning if transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a possible treatment option.
  • A medical checkup - during which a doctor or nurse practitioner will ask questions about each patient’s heart and overall health.
  • A consult with a cardiac surgeon - to review each patient’s health history, to determine the best recommendation for conventional aortic valve replacement, transcatheter aortic valve replacement or medications.
  • Questions from the patient and family about care and treatment options.

Making a Decision about Valve Replacement

Once your transcatheter aortic valve replacement assessment is complete, your MedStar heart team, which includes general cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, cardiac anesthesiologists  and the program coordinator, will discuss the results to make a thorough and informed recommendation. Our goal is to help each patient decide on the best treatment option for improved heart health. Depending on each person’s individual history and state of health, these options could include:

  • Medical management: Your doctor or cardiologist will continue to treat the aortic stenosis with medication.
  • Conventional aortic valve replacement: For patients who are able, open-heart aortic valve replacement may be best.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement: Originally, this minimally invasive procedure was only an option for high-risk patients who were unable to undergo traditional open-heart surgery. It has since been broadened to include patients of intermediates risk and a clinical trial is now underway for low-risk patients.

Learn more about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR):

 

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