TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE REPLACEMENT (TAVR)

When we think about treatment of valvular heart disease, till recently, there were no options other than open surgery for replacement or repair of the valve.

TAVR valve with delivery catheter

When we think about treatment of valvular heart disease, till recently, there were no options other than open surgery for replacement or repair of the valve. We had conquered ischaemic heart disease, ie, blocked blood vessels to the heart long back; with keyhole surgery called angioplasty celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, a catheter- based treatment for these valve patients was long overdue. And now it’s a reality.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve replacement or Implantation (TAVR or TAVI) involves passing a valve loaded on to a catheter through the groin artery and delivering it in the correct position in the heart.

The major challenges are identifying the high risk patients who are the right candidates for this treatment, assessing the patient to minimise risk, selecting the right valve type and size, perfect positioning and deployment of the valve and identifying and treating complications, if any.

At Meitra, all these are taken care of by the well- experienced heart team – from planning every step of the procedure beforehand, to precision delivery of the valve with the use of a robotic cath-lab.

At present, only patients who are considered too high risk for open surgery are undergoing this treatment worldwide. In near future, as experience with the procedure grows, TAVR could be offered to a lot more patients with a wider variety of valvular anatomies and risk profiles.

That day is not far when all valvular heart diseases can be treated with a catheter-based approach.

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