Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure for patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the heart's aortic valve resulting in the obstruction of blood flow to the body. UT Southwestern joins an elite group of hospitals across the nation with the capabilities to perform this procedure.

Team members (from left) Drs. Sarah Gualano and Brian Bethea, Nurse Carrie Rhea, and Drs. Michael Jessen and Dharam Kumbhani put UTSW among a select group of hospitals that perform the leading-edge TAVR procedure.

A recently developed alternative to open-heart surgery, TAVR is performed by inserting a catheter through the groin to make the aortic valve repair. Patients can be back on their feet and enjoying life in just a few days. TAVR has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in patients ineligible for traditional aortic valve surgery because of age, comorbidities, previous open-heart surgery, or other high risks. Clinical trials are currently ongoing in moderate-risk patients.

Patient Evaluation

All patients will be carefully evaluated to see if they are candidates for traditional surgical aortic valve replacement with a primary goal of providing the best treatment for each patient. Clinical trials at UT Southwestern and selected other valve centers that likewise perform the procedures with a team approach between interventional cardiologists and surgeons have achieved positive results.

TAVR Patient Profile:

  • Severe aortic stenosis
  • Dyspnea or heart failure
  • Angina
  • Syncope or pre-syncope
  • High risk of mortality or morbidity with traditional surgical valve replacement
    • Advanced age
    • Prior cardiac surgery
    • History of renal impairment
    • Prior stroke or carotid stenosis
    • Reduced ejection fraction