CHI Memorial’s Heart Valve Program offers a revolutionary procedure for the treatment of severe aortic valve stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening).
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure that enables a collapsible aortic heart valve to be placed inside the heart. During the procedure, the TAVR device is crimped down and placed into the body via a catheter that is inserted in the upper thigh or groin. Once it’s delivered to the site of the patient’s diseased valve, the device is expanded with a balloon and begins to work immediately.
TAVR offers some patients the potential of a longer, better quality life. When TAVR was first introduced, it was only approved for patients who were not candidates for traditional open-heart surgery. Changes to the requirements now mean that patients with valve disease who are deemed high or intermediate risk may also be appropriate.
To assess whether someone is a candidate for TAVR, patients with severe aortic valve disease are screened in CHI Memorial Hospital’s Heart Valve Program. This program is directed by a team of specially trained cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and imaging cardiologists who review possible candidates to determine if TAVR is the best course of treatment for each individual patient.
CHI Memorial is the only hospital in the Chattanooga area chosen as a site for the use of the TAVR valve. More than 150 patients have been treated with lifesaving TAVR therapy at CHI Memorial.
Evolution of TAVR
The Edwards SAPIEN Valve was the first TAVR therapy to receive FDA approval. In October 2011, when CHI Memorial was selected, it was one of only 24 hospitals nationwide chosen to use the device. CHI Memorial performed the third implant in the nation using the FDA approved SAPIEN device. A smaller retroflex valve delivery system for TAVR was approved in June 2014 and often requires no surgical incision – it can be placed through a small puncture site in the groin.
To learn more about CHI Memorial’s Heart Valve Program, talk with your physician or call the valve clinic coordinator at (423) 495-4327.