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If you need a heart valve replaced due to severe aortic stenosis and surgery is not appropriate, your cardiologist may recommend Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). This minimally invasive procedure may relieve your symptoms and help you recover faster.

 

The Heart Valve Center at Chester County Hospital performs the TAVR procedure, an alternative to open heart surgery.
The TAVR Team at The Heart Valve Center at Chester County Hospital

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): Why Choose Chester County Hospital

Penn Heart and Vascular at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA, is a local leader in TAVR, an alternative to open-heart surgery for replacing diseased aortic valves. Chester County Hospital offers:

  • Unrivaled Expertise: Chester County Hospital is a part of Penn Medicine, an early adopter of TAVR and one of the top five TAVR programs in the country. Our team has the advanced skill and expertise necessary for successful outcomes. 
  • Compassionate, Coordinated Care: Your heart and vascular nurse navigator coordinates every aspect of your care. They’re here to ensure that you and your family have the resources you need through each step of your care plan.  
  • Innovations in Heart Valve Treatment: As part of Penn’s academic medical center, Chester County Hospital has access to clinical trials to improve and expand the use of TAVR. You may benefit from innovative nonsurgical treatments and techniques not offered elsewhere in the region.
  • Hybrid Operating Suite: In our state-of-the-art facility, patients requiring both surgery and catheter-based treatment can have both procedures under one general anesthesia.
  • High Safety Standards: Penn’s TAVR team was integral in the FDA approval of the SentinelTM Cerebral Protection System (CPS), which protects patients undergoing TAVR from stroke. This system is now part of Chester County Hospital’s safety protocol, as well.

TAVR Treatment Overview

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) to replace diseased heart valves. Our interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons offer TAVR as an option for low-risk patients and those who are not candidates for traditional open-chest valve replacement surgery. 

You may be a candidate for TAVR if you have:

  • Aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve
  • Bicuspid aortic valve disease (BAVD) as well as aortic stenosis
  • A previous surgical aortic valve replacement that now needs to be replaced. When used this way, the treatment may also be called a valve-in-valve procedure.

TAVR Procedure: What to Expect

During TAVR, a team of interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists and cardiac anesthesiologists work together to safely replace your aortic valve. You’ll be under general anesthesia or conscious sedation to keep you comfortable while your valve is replaced. 

During the TAVR procedure, your physician:

  • Inserts a catheter with the new heart valve into the femoral artery in your groin.
  • Uses advanced imaging to guide the catheter to the aorta.
  • Positions the new valve inside your diseased aortic valve.
  • Expands the valve to secure it in place.
  • Removes the catheter from your blood vessel.

Our cardiac team closely monitors your recovery and comfort. Expect to spend approximately one to three days in the hospital. You may need to continue taking certain medications, including blood-thinning medications, after valve replacement.

Benefits of TAVR

Replacing your aortic valve using TAVR has benefits compared to open-chest valve replacement, including:

  • Fewer medical complications, including reduced chance of stroke and death
  • Less pain
  • Rapid improvement of aortic stenosis symptoms
  • Shorter recovery, returning to normal activity in as little as one week

Keeping You Safe During TAVR

Like any cardiac procedure, TAVR is associated with some risk. The most concerning risk is post-TAVR stroke, which affects up to 3 percent of patients. During the TAVR procedure, calcium build-up and other debris can break loose, travel to the brain and potentially cause stroke.

To protect patients from stroke associated with TAVR, your Penn cardiac team uses the Sentinel Cerebral Protection System (CPS) during TAVR procedures. This innovative, FDA-approved device filters and captures the debris released during TAVR, resulting in a 38 percent reduction in stroke risk.

Cardiac Rehabilitation After TAVR

Your cardiologist may recommend cardiac rehabilitation after your TAVR procedure. Our outpatient program focuses on getting you back to daily activities by offering exercise, nutrition counseling, education and support.



Meet Our TAVR Team

Muhammad Raza, MD, FACC 

Muhammad Raza, MD, FACC
Medical Director, Structural Heart Disease Program  


Steven J. Weiss, MD, MBA
Chief, Cardiac Surgery, Chester County Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery,
Perelman School of Medicine

  Deon W. Vigilance, MD, MBA
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery,
Perelman School of Medicine
Julie Pitts, MSN, CRNP
Julie Pitts, MSN, CRNP 
Program Manager


Request an Appointment

Call 800-789-7366 (PENN) to speak to one of our heart and vascular experts. You can also request an appointment using our online form.

 

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