Happy couple in the mountains Enloe Medical Center offers Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement by a pioneer in the field. Also called TAVR or TAVI, TAVR is a leading-edge, minimally invasive procedure for treatment of severe aortic stenosis. Using this approach, Enloe’s trusted heart specialists can replace unhealthy aortic valves and deteriorating aortic tissue valves.

Medicines can’t stop or cure aortic stenosis. Having a heart valve replacement is the only effective treatment, and the team at Enloe’s Structural Heart & Valve Center is ready to care for you.

A Team Approach

Our experienced team includes a specialty trained interventional cardiologist, who works with our cardiothoracic surgeon. The team uses a minimalist TAVR approach, which:

  • Allows the use of conscious sedation instead of general anesthesia
  • Eliminates the need for open heart surgery
  • Results in shorter hospital stays
  • Facilitates faster recovery and early mobility
  • Improves outcomes
  • Increases patient satisfaction

When you see us at Enloe’s Structural Heart & Valve Center, you’ll work with our dedicated structural heart and valve coordinator, ensuring continuity of care.

TAVR Explained

Grandfather with childHaving a TAVR procedure is less invasive than open-heart surgery. It is done in many ways. The most common approach involves making a small incision in the leg, called the transfemoral approach. Your care team might consider other approaches based on your CT scan.

A TAVR usually takes 2-3 hours, depending on your health and the approach. Your care team will determine the type of anesthesia that’s best for you. You will likely be awake and given medication to help you relax and block the pain.

The Transfemoral Approach

If your care team opts for the transfemoral approach, a small incision will be made in your upper leg. Your doctor will insert a short, hollow tube called a sheath into your femoral artery. The new valve will be compressed so it’s small enough to be placed on a delivery system. That system is advanced to your heart across your aortic valve. Once it reaches your unhealthy valve, your old valve will be pushed aside, and the new valve will be put in place. Your team will do an ultrasound of your heart to ensure the new valve is working properly before removing the delivery system and closing your leg. People usually stay in the hospital one or two days after this procedure.

At Enloe, TAVRs are usually done on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. As your procedure approaches, a caregiver will contact you, so we can see you a few days before your valve replacement.

Older man with cardiologist Some people feel relief from their symptoms right after their TAVR. For others it takes longer. Research shows people who have this procedure have better heart function and a better quality of life in 30 days.

You will need to adjust your activities during recovery. Participating in Enloe’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program can safely improve your recovery and help you increase your physical activity.

Hear from a Patient

At 82 years old, James Nicholls was the 100th TAVR patient at Enloe. He was able to return home after just two days — and immediately noticed he was no longer short of breath and that his strength returned.

“I went to the doctor a week later and the nurse was flabbergasted,” Nicholls said. “She said she could hardly keep up with me. I would absolutely recommend them. I was so impressed ... and felt I was in very good hands.”

Contact Us

Enloe Structural Heart & Valve Center

Nursing Coordinators:

Clinic: 530-332-4388

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