Aortic valve disease can decrease quality of life and lead to serious complications, including heart failure.
At the UPMC Center for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Therapy, our experts specialize in the latest treatment options, including minimally invasive catheter-based techniques, and provide individualized treatment plans for each patient.
With almost a decade of experience, UPMC was the first program in western Pennsylvania established to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures.
This experience with hundreds of patients each year, as well as our participation in leading national trials and research, has made us one of the most innovative TAVR teams in the country.
David underwent both the minimally invasive TAVR procedure and the minimally invasive MitraClip® procedure to repair his heart following a heart attack.
To schedule an appointment:
For TAVR eligibility requirements, contact Lisa Henry, DNP, CRNP, Clinical Project Director, at:
Your heart has four valves and four chambers that open and close to keep blood flowing in the right direction. The aortic valve connects your heart’s lower left chamber—the left ventricle—to the body’s largest artery, the aorta. In most cases, the aortic valve has three flaps called leaflets which open fully and close to allow for healthy blood flow.
When the aortic valve becomes stiff or narrow, blood cannot flow properly. This can lead to a range of symptoms, decreased quality of life, and over time, a serious condition known as heart failure, when the heart cannot pump effectively.
At the UPMC Center for Transcatheter Valve Therapy, we offer patients access to a team of experts who can help diagnose and treat aortic stenosis. We also:
Our main goals at the Center are to:
Aortic valve disease may not have symptoms at first, but may include:
Aortic valve disease can be present from birth or develop as you age. Our multidisciplinary team of experts provides treatment for all types of aortic valve disease, including:
To develop your treatment plan, our multidisciplinary team takes your individual condition, medical history, symptoms, and quality of life into consideration. We provide the latest treatment options for all stages of aortic valve disease, including:
TAVR offers a minimally invasive valve replacement option for people with severe aortic stenosis and for patients with failing previous surgical tissue aortic valve replacements.
Severe aortic stenosis is a condition in which the aortic valve does not fully open, decreasing blood flow from the heart to the body.
Many people with severe aortic stenosis develop debilitating symptoms that can restrict normal daily activities.
For many years, treatment options for severe heart valve conditions were limited to open heart surgery and medical therapy.
Now, TAVR offers a less invasive approach for people who are at increased surgical risk or have been turned down for traditional aortic valve replacement because of age or other medical conditions.
When referred to the TAVR program at the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Therapies Center, you will have a thorough evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of UPMC heart valve specialists. If you are a candidate for TAVR, you may expect:
During your TAVR evaluation, you’ll meet with our multidisciplinary heart valve team that includes a cardiac surgeon, interventional cardiologist, and advanced practice providers.
Testing for TAVR evaluation before, during or after the visit may include:
During a TAVR procedure, your doctor:
Since many people with severe aortic stenosis are at increased surgical risk and have considerable mortality in the short term, TAVR may provide a treatment pathway that would otherwise be unavailable. However, TAVR may not be appropriate for all risk categories.
TAVR is a surgical procedure that involves anesthesia.
Placement of the valve may have serious adverse effects, including risks of:
UPMC was one of the first hospitals in the United States to treat people with severe aortic stenosis with the FDA-approved Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve and the Medtronic CoreValve®.
We are also enrolling low risk patients in the Medtronic TAVR in Low Risk Patients clinical trials, in addition to the ongoing aortic valve clinical trials available to patients at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.
Our physicians have published numerous articles in leading journals related to transcatheter aortic valve replacement and outcomes.
Above: Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve
Above: Medtronic Corevalve
Reproduced with permission of Medtronic, Inc.
Our multidisciplinary team at the UPMC Center for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Therapy includes experts in cardiology and cardiac surgery.
TAVR is a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery recommended for people who have severe aortic stenosis or have a failing aortic valve from a prior surgical replacement.Learn more from UPMC HealthBeat.