How Long Does It Take To Do a TAVR?
The TAVR or the transcatheter aortic valve replacement surgery takes requires 45 to 60 minutes. The preparation of the surgery, performing the surgery, dressing and finally leaving the operation theater requires two to three hours, whereas the actual valve replacement surgery procedure takes about an hour or less.
Who Needs TAVR Procedure?
Those who are suffering from critical aortic defects or who are at a risk of an open heart surgery need to get this procedure done, because aortic defects be treated just by medication. The two major conditions which require a TAVR procedure are:
Aortic Regurgitation: When the valve does not closes properly and there is a back flow or leakage of blood, a condition known as Aortic Regurgitation, and
Aortic Stenosis: When the valve does not open completely or properly, so that the required amount of blood is not able to pass through the aorta. This condition is known as Aortic Stenosis.
In both the above conditions, the patient may require a TAVR procedure.
What is TAVR?
TAVR is an abbreviation for Transcatheter aortic valve Replacement. Sometime the TAVR may also be referred as TAVI. TAVR is a minimal invasive procedure done for the defect valve repairing. Unlike the typical valve replacement procedure, in which the complete valve is replaced, this procedure does not involve complete removal of the old, defective valve. Instead it fixes a replacement valve in place of the aortic valve. This makes it like a valve-within-valve structure. That’s why this surgery is called a transcatheter aortic implantation (TAVI) or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
The valve within a valve structure works quite effectively as it acts like a stent inserted within the artery. The TAVI procedure ensures a completely flexible replacement valve at the site of the valve via catheter, which works as effectively as a new valve. The two most popular sites through which the catheter is fixed with the replacement valve are Trans-femoral i.e. through the groin and Trans-apical i.e. through the ribs. Once the new valve is fitted and it expands, the old valve is pushed out of the way and the tissues of the replacement valve start the blood flow and its proper regulation. The TAVR procedure is done using either of the two ways. The surgeon or the cardiologist will decide which method out of the two will be suitable for the patient and which one is safer.
The Trans-femoral Approach: In this procedure, the access to the valve is made through the femoral artery i.e., the largest artery in the groin. This method does not require surgical slit of the chest.
The Trans-apical Approach: This procedure involves a small incision on the chest and the access to the valve is made through the apex of the left ventricle. It’s also a minimal invasive technique.
What Does a TAVR Procedure Involves?
It can be said that TAVR is a combination of an open surgery and Sternotomy. In this procedure, the chest is bifurcated surgically for the operation. Although the incisions made in this procedure are very small and can be recovered comparatively faster. The chest bones remain in their place after the procedure. It’s not that this procedure does not involve risk, but it does good for the patients who do not want to go for a complete valve replacement or the patients who are not suitable for the complete valve replacement procedure. It has an added advantage of faster recovery. The average hospital stay of the patient after this surgery is only about 3 to 5 days as in most of the cases.