Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces a damaged aortic valve without removing the old, damaged valve. During the procedure, the doctor will make a small incision and insert a short hollow tube called a sheath. The new heart valve is placed on a delivery system,(catheter), and compressed to fit through the sheath. Once the delivery system reaches the patient’s diseased valve, the the new valve is expanded into place and secured using the damaged valve leaflets.
TAVR is FDA approved for people with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are considered an intermediate or high-risk patient for standard valve replacement surgery.
Download a brochure on TAVR [PDF].
Benefits of TAVR
TAVR offers the following benefits:
- Better quality of life
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced pain
- Shorter recovery
- Small incisions
You’ll likely receive conscious sedation, not general anesthesia, to prevent pain and relax you. Conscious sedation causes fewer side effects and lets you recover faster.
Your TAVR Team
Reading Hospital’s specially trained TAVR team includes interventional and noninvasive cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, specialized radiologists and anesthesiologists, nurses, and other experts as needed. Our cardiovascular specialists include:
- Eric E. Elgin, MD, chief, section of cardiology
- Christine M. McCarty, MD, chief, section of cardiothoracic surgery
- Matthew M. Nolan, MD, interventional cardiology
- Uday Dasika, MD, cardiothoracic surgery
TAVR is performed in Reading Hospital’s hybrid operating suite that combines the latest in surgical, imaging, and minimally invasive technology. We’re the only hospital in Berks County with a hybrid operating room which allows physicians of multiple specialties to work together to provide, safer, quicker and more efficient procedures.
Watch our videos to see an animation of TAVR and learn more about how the treatment helps people like you.
Meet Dr. Matthew Nolan, a member of the Reading Hospital TAVR team.
Jim Rutkowski received the TAVR procedure. Hear his story: