Minimally Invasive Procedure for Malfunctioning Aortic Valves
Valve surgery is one of the many cardiac treatments provided by the expert doctors at Loyola Medicine. Skilled in both heart valve repair and replacement, cardiac surgeons at Loyola are proficient at evaluating your heart valve function and determining if surgery is right for your specific condition.
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic heart valve problem such as aortic stenosis or aortic constriction, your best course of treatment may be a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), also called transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR.
Loyola is the first hospital in Illinois to implant the new aortic heart valve device, which was recently approved by the FDA. The new device is called the Medtronic CoreValve® system. TAVI is a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a new valve into your heart through a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) threaded through an artery in your leg. Sometimes called a percutaneous valve replacement, TAVI is an alternative to traditional open heart surgery for patients who have severe heart valve disease and need one or more new aortic valves.
Why Choose Loyola for TAVI?
Loyola’s cardiology and heart surgery program is ranked 27th in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
The Loyola team performed more than 100 procedures and is the only Illinois hospital to participate in the pivotal clinical trial leading to FDA approval of the Medtronic CoreValve®.
What to Expect
What You Can Expect with TAVI
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is used to replace aortic valves that are not functioning due to aortic stenosis in patients who are at high risk for open heart surgery. The new valves improve blood flow regulation and quality of life, prolong life and reduce stroke.
If you have been diagnosed with an aortic heart valve condition that requires TAVI, specialized surgeons at Loyola will implant the CoreValve aortic prosthesis, which is designed to be inserted in a small, specialized delivery tube.
During the TAVI procedure, the delivery catheter containing the core valve is inserted into an introducing sheath, which is in turn placed into your groin vessels or directly into your ascending aorta through a small one-inch incision. A small balloon is positioned across the diseased aortic valve and inflated to make room for the new valve.
An interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon then place the mechanical heart valve directly over the diseased aortic valve. When the core valve is in the proper place, a control knob in the delivery catheter is activated, releasing it. The CoreValve expands within the aorta, firmly attaching itself to the aortic wall. Once the new valve is secured, doctors remove the delivery catheter and the new valve takes over the function of the old aortic valve.
The prosthetic valve helps ensure that the oxygen-rich blood flows freely from your heart to your aorta and throughout the rest of your body.
What Are the Risks of TAVI?
Doctors at Loyola work to mitigate the risks associated with surgical replacement of your aortic valves. TAVI does not require a sternotomy (thorax incision), which is often required for standard valve replacement, and therefore presents fewer complications. However, as with any surgical procedure there are potential risks, which may include: