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Receive a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in MA & RI

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive procedure performed to place a new aortic valve in the heart without removing the old, damaged valve. During this catheter-based procedure, our heart team puts a new valve into the original valves place. This surgery is also called a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Learn more about TAVR.

The heart team at Southcoast Health may perform a TAVR if you have severe aortic valve stenosis (narrowing). In some cases, TAVR may be a better option if you are not able to undergo open heart surgery to place the new valve. To learn more about a TAVR in RI or MA, call 508-973-2213 to request an appointment at Southcoast Health.

Are You Eligible for a TAVR?

Your aortic heart valve moves blood in one direction out of your heart and into your aorta. If this valve is damaged, it can prevent blood from flowing normally and blood can leak back into the heart. This can put stress on your heart because it has to work harder to pump blood through the damaged valve.

Your doctor may recommend a TAVR for the following reasons:

  • Your aortic valve stenosis is severe, resulting in chest pain, fainting, irregular heartbeat or heart failure.
  • Medications haven’t helped control your symptoms.
  • A catheter-based procedure is a better option for you than undergoing open heart surgery.

What to Expect from a TAVR at Southcoast Health

A TAVR will be performed by an interventional cardiologist or a member of the heart team in a Southcoast hospital cardiac catheterization lab (cath lab). During this procedure, your surgeon inserts a catheter into your artery (typically near your groin). With the aid of X-ray guidance, your surgeon will feed the catheter up towards your aortic valve. Your surgeon injects a dye to see your heart on X-rays.

Once the catheter is in the correct position, the new valve is placed in the precise location and is activated. Your new heart valve will push the leaflets of the your old valve out the way, allowing the new valve to regulate blood flow normally.

A TAVR procedure may take up to three hours. Once complete, you may need to spend three to five days recovering in the hospital.

Your Everyday Life After a TAVR

In most cases, you’ll be able to return to your normal activities in about six weeks. Cardiac rehabilitation will help your recovery process. Your doctor will talk with you about when it’s safe to return to exercise and other strenuous activities. Full recovery from TAVR can take a few months.

Southcoast Health performs minimally invasive TAVR in Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham, MA, as well as parts of Rhode Island.