Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)
TAVI is a procedure for heart patients who have a serious, debilitating heart condition called aortic stenosis.
Since 2011, PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute (PHCVI) offers these patients an innovative, non-invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Once reserved for patients considered not strong enough to undergo conventional open heart surgery for heart-valve replacement, PinnacleHealth offers TAVI to patients at high-surgical-risk, moderate-surgical-risk and low-surgical-risk (low risk patients through a clinical trial).
- High-surgical-risk patients: PinnacleHealth's chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Mubashir Mumtaz, MD, FACS, FACC, was one of the authors in the published landmark study comparing TAVI to surgical aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at increased surgical risk.
- Moderate-surgical-risk patients: Through the Medtronic CoreValve® SURTAVI trial, which is ongoing, PinnacleHealth was the first hospital in the United States to deploy this type of valve, and the top national enroller. PinnacleHealth is also involved in another study, called SALUS, of a next generation transcatheter aortic valve.
- Low-surgical-risk patients: A PinnacleHealth patient received the first implant in the United States. More information about the low-risk clinical trial is available on the Medtronic web site.
Minimally Invasive And Lifesaving
Considered a non-surgical procedure, TAVI involves insertion of a catheter into the patient’s femoral (groin) artery. The catheter travels to the site of the patient’s diseased heart valve, carrying a replacement made of bovine or porcine tissue that has been reinforced with a stainless steel stent. The malfunctioning valve is removed and replaced with the new one, leaving patients with a smoothly operating valve that delivers better blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body.
Benefits For Complex Patients
TAVI can help elderly and frail patients with severe aortic stenosis feel much better and stronger. Since there is no medication that can improve valve function and since surgery is considered to be too dangerous for these patients, TAVI is a treatment that may bring a far better quality of life.
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