TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure that treats aortic stenosis.
In this surgery, the doctor replaces a defective aortic valve with a biological tissue valve, often from a cow or pig. This allows your heart to keep working normally.
TAVR has a faster recovery time than open heart surgery, getting you back on your feet quicker.
UPMC was the first in the Pittsburgh region to perform the procedure.
Doctors use TAVR to treat people with aortic valve disease, including:
Your care team at the UPMC Center for Heart Disease will decide if TAVR is right for you based on:
Since the catheter enters your heart through an artery typically in the groin, your arteries must be healthy.
Pre-op testing will help us learn your fitness for the procedure and make sure you're healthy enough for surgery.
Many people with severe aortic stenosis are at increased risk from surgery, complications, or death.
TAVR may provide a treatment pathway that would otherwise not be an option. But it may not be right for everyone.
TAVR is a surgical technique that involves sedation.
It carries a low risk of complications but, as with any surgery, there are some risks.
TAVR risks include:
When referred to the TAVR program, our team of heart valve experts will do a thorough exam.
If we decide TAVR is right for you, you may expect:
During your TAVR exam, you'll meet with:
Testing for TAVR before, during, or after your visit may include:
View or print our TAVR testing checklist (PDF) for more details.
On the day of your TAVR, before your surgery, you should expect to:
Plan on spending around an hour in the operating room and one to two hours in the recovery room.
Then you'll go to a telemetry unit for heart monitoring overnight.
During a TAVR procedure, your surgeon:
TAVR results in a faster recovery, proven in several large studies at UPMC and other health centers.
On average, people spend one to two nights in the hospital after TAVR.
When you go home, you'll need help from a family member or caregiver for the first few days.
Be sure to follow your care team's instructions to keep your heart healthy.
We'll call you within a week post-op to answer questions and make sure you're taking your medicine as prescribed.
You'll have follow-up exams and tests in the days and months after TAVR, including:
UPMC is one of the top hospitals in the U.S. for performing TAVR, and our outcomes are among the best as well.
As we do more procedures, increase, success rates increase.
UPMC is in the top 1% in the U.S. in terms of the number of TAVRs we do. And our success rates are among the top in the nation as well.
Learn more about UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute volume and outcomes, including TAVR.
UPMC was among the first U.S. hospitals to treat severe aortic stenosis with Edwards SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve and Medtronic CoreValve®.
Our heart valve experts take part in research regularly. We've published many articles in leading journals about TAVR and its outcomes.
We also have ongoing clinical trials. This means you have access to the latest heart valve disease treatments.
Our team at the UPMC Center for Heart Valve Disease includes heart valve and heart surgery experts.
To schedule an appointment:
For TAVR eligibility requirements, contact Lisa Henry, DNP, CRNP, Clinical Project Director, at:
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.