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3 Benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

3 Benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

Your heart features four valves that make sure blood flows smoothly through your heart and lungs, picking up oxygen to deliver throughout your body. And the entirety of your blood — about 6 quarts — makes this journey three times every minute

So, an issue in one of your valves can throw the whole system off; this is certainly true of aortic valve disease. When this happens, valve replacement makes good sense, but doesn’t this mean open heart surgery?

Thanks to emerging technologies, Dr. James Kim (and his fellow cardiologists around the world) can now replace aortic valves using only a catheter that he inserts through a blood vessel — no open heart surgery required.

Called a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), here’s a look at some of the benefits of this innovative approach toward improving your cardiovascular health.

1. A TAVR can prevent heart failure

Nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood is having a tough time leaving your heart thanks to a narrowing in the opening of your aortic valve, which can place you at far greater risk for serious issues like heart failure. 

It’s called aortic stenosis, and it’s fairly common among older demographics — about 20% of Americans over the age of 65 have some degree of this condition.

With a TAVR, we replace the damaged valve with one that we make out of animal tissue. This new valve improves how blood flows through, and exits, your heart.

2. No open surgery with TAVR

Aside from preventing some serious complications, the other major benefit of a TAVR is that it’s a minimally invasive procedure. 

During your cardiac catheterization, Dr. Kim threads the replacement valve through a major blood vessel to access your heart. In most cases, we go in through the femoral artery in your thigh, though there are times when we might need to access your aortic valve through other blood vessels.

This means you have only one tiny incision to deal with, which greatly reduces the risks associated with open surgery, such as infection and collateral tissue damage. As well, your recovery time is much shorter than it would be with open heart surgery.

3. TAVR works very well

The final benefit of our TAVR procedure is that our minimally invasive approach using a catheter doesn’t compromise results in any way. In fact, the TAVR enjoys a 90% success rate, and it also excels over open surgery with:

So, if you have a diseased aortic valve and we’re recommending replacement, you now know that your road ahead doesn’t have to involve open heart surgery.

If you have more questions about the TAVR procedure or aortic stenosis, please don’t hesitate to contact us at one of our offices in Chula Vista or National City, California.

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