Overview

Treatment for Aortic Stenosis

Treatment for Aortic Stenosis

Pacemakers and defibrillators are small devices that heart doctors implant in your body to help regulate your heart's electrical signals. Cardiothoracic surgeons implant these devices to keep your heart beating in a normal rhythm.

Specialists at University of Utah Health have over twenty years’ experience in these procedures. They constantly participate in research to bring the latest in cardiovascular treatments to their patients.

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What Is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement?

TAVR allows your doctor to place a balloon-expandable heart valve into your body by using a tube-based delivery system called a catheter. This tube-based system allows doctors to insert the valve to through a cut in your leg and into your artery (transfemoral procedure), or through a cut between your ribs and then through the bottom end of your heart called the apex (transapical procedure).

 

The transapical procedure is only available to certain high-risk patients who are not candidates for the transfemoral procedure because their doctors cannot easily access a leg artery.

The U of U Health Heart Valve Clinic team will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether the TAVR procedure is the best treatment option for you.

In certain cases, TAVR may not be an option. If you have other medical conditions or disease processes that would prevent you from recovering fully, you may not be able to have TAVR. For some patients, the risks of having TAVR surgery also outweigh the benefits.

For people who are candidates for TAVR, this therapy may provide relief from painful symptoms associated with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis.

About Severe Aortic Stenosis

In elderly patients, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is often caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve's leaflets. Leaflets are flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate the one-way flow of blood through your aortic valve. 

This build-up of calcium on the leaflets hurts the aortic valve's ability to fully open and close. As a result, the narrowed valve allows less oxygen-rich blood to flow from the lungs to the brain and rest of the body. Reduced blood flow may cause symptoms like severe shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.