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TAVI Surgery Procedure: Indication, Risk & Recovery TAVI Surgery Procedure: Indication, Risk & Recovery

TAVI Surgery Procedure: Indication, Risk & Recovery

Artemis Hospital

April 25, 2024 | 1
TAVI Surgery Procedure: Indication, Risk & Recovery 9 Min Read | 96

TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure carried out to replace an aortic valve which is narrowed and does not open fully. The damaged valve is replaced with a biological tissue valve. (Valve makeup from the heart tissue of a cow or pig). Narrowing of the aortic valve is called aortic valve stenosis and it blocks or slows blood flow from the heart to the body. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedure replaces the aortic valve in your heart from inside of your body, thus avoiding the need for open heart surgery. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is also known as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Surgery?

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation or transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to replace an aortic valve which is narrowed or does not open fully.

During this minimally invasive procedure, a new valve is inserted without removing the old valve, instead it is inserted inside the diseased valve. After the TAVI procedure, once the new valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve starts regulating the blood flow.

What Are The Indications For Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Surgery?

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is generally done for the management of aortic valve stenosis. In this condition, the aortic valve becomes thicker and stiffer which causes reduced blood flow to the body.

Your doctor may recommend TAVI surgery for you if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Chest pain and shortness of breath resulting from severe aortic stenosis
  • Improper working of a biological tissue aortic valve compared with its normal functions
  • Underlying health conditions such as lung or kidney diseases make open heart surgery too risky.

What Are The Contraindications For Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Surgery?

Even though Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) surgery has many benefits, some people may have certain conditions or circumstances they shouldn’t undergo TAVI. Following are the conditions in which TAVI is contraindicated:

  • History of heart attack within a month 
  • Congenital heart diseases
  • If the space where the new valve has to be placed is too short, that makes the new valve placement difficult
  • Other conditions with heart valve problems such as mitral regurgitation
  • Certain parts of your heart have severe weakness
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Recent history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)

What Are The Benefits of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Surgery?

The following are the benefits of TAVI surgery:

It is a minimally invasive procedure compared to other open heart surgeries:

  • TAVI requires only minimal incisions without moving your internal organs and ribs while other surgeries require larger incisions and the surgeon needs to lift internal organs to perform surgery.
  • Easier recovery: TAVI surgery needs minimal incisions making a faster healing and less pain.
  • Shorter hospital stay: Patients can leave the hospital on the same day or the next day after TAVI surgery. 
  • Better treatment outcome: TAVI offers greater survival rate, reduced rehospitalization, and reduced risks of stroke

What Are The Risks Associated With Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Surgery?

The following are the possible risks associated with transcatheter aortic valve implantation:

  • Disruption in your heart’s electrical activity system may lead the person in need of a pacemaker.
  • Leaking around the newly implanted valve
  • Bleeding and blood vessel problems
  • Slipping out of the replaced valve
  • Infections
  • Hypotension (lower blood pressure)
  • Stroke
  • Disruption in the rhythm of the heart
  • Kidney diseases
  • Allergic reactions to the anesthesia or other medications used during the procedure
  • Heart attack
  • Death 

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Surgery Procedure?

During Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Surgery, your cardiologist will replace your damaged valve with a biological tissue valve (valve made from cow or pig heart tissue). Sometimes your doctor will insert the new valve into the existing valve which is no longer active. 

Your cardiologist will make a small incision in your chest and a flexible hollow tube called a catheter is inserted through this incision. Usually, they will insert a catheter into your blood vessels, mainly in the groin or chest area. Using an X-ray or other image-guiding tube, the doctor will guide the catheter to the location of the aortic valve in the heart.

The cardiologist sends a biological tissue valve through this catheter and places it in the area of the aortic valve. A balloon in the catheter tips expands the catheter and places the new valve into its respective position. There are some replacement valves available that expand without the use of a balloon. Once the new valve is kept in place, the doctor will remove the catheter. 
Throughout the procedure, your cardiologist will monitor your heart rhythm, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

What Is The Recovery Time after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Surgery?

The recovery period may vary in different individuals based on your overall health. Usually, patients can leave the hospital within one day after TAVI surgery. Within some days after the procedure, you can resume normal activities but in some people, the recovery time may be prolonged. Discuss in detail the things that have to be followed for a faster recovery after TAVI surgery.

Conclusion

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation or transcatheter aortic valve replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to replace an aortic valve which is narrowed or which does not open fully. It is the most common method for the management of aortic valve stenosis. It is a life-saving technique for people who have medical conditions that limit them to perform open heart surgeries. Compared to other heart surgeries TAVI has a faster healing, greater survival rate and reduced hospital stay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is TAVI surgery?

A: TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure carried out to replace an aortic valve which is narrowed and does not open fully with a biological tissue valve.

Q: Is TAVI a major surgery?

A: No, TAVI is a minimally invasive procedure that needs minimal incisions. However, it may lead to some complications in a similar way as the major surgery results. 

Q: Is TAVI surgery painful?

A: People may experience slight pain and discomfort in the area where the catheter is inserted. But it is much less as compared to the pain you experience after undergoing open heart surgeries. 

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