How TAVR Works
You’ll lie on a table as a doctor inserts a thin tube called a catheter into your femoral artery, a large blood vessel in your upper thigh. The catheter carries a tiny, folded replacement valve up to your heart, where the doctor places it over your natural aortic valve. Then, your doctor removes the catheter from your artery.
Is TAVR Right for Me?
Your cardiologist will help you determine whether surgical valve replacement or TAVR is your best option. You may be a good candidate for TAVR if:
- You’re older than 80 (but younger people can qualify, too)
- Surgery is too risky because you have a lung condition, kidney disease or other serious illnesses
- Your femoral artery is wide enough for the artificial valve to pass through it
- Your natural aortic valve has three leaflets, or flaps (which is the case in most people)
You’ll stay in the hospital overnight so your care team can make sure you’re OK. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to your usual activities—usually within two weeks after the incision over your artery heals.