Which treatment options are available?
Current treatments
with medication
Open chest
Minimal incision

Transcatheter approach (TAVR) on NewHeartValve.com

What treatment options are available?

Choosing the right treatment option is extremely important and depends on many factors. It's a decision that you should make in close cooperation with your doctor. Some of the factors you will need to consider when choosing a treatment option include:
  • The benefits and risks of each type of treatment
  • Your age
  • Your specific medical condition
  • Other medications you may be taking
  • Your lifestyle needs and goals

Surgical Valve Repair

When possible, it is often preferable to surgically repair the patient's valve rather than to replace it with a prosthetic device. Valve repair usually involves the surgeon modifying the tissue or underlying structures of the mitral or tricuspid valve and implanting an annuloplasty ring or band. Aortic valves are rarely repaired.

Surgical Valve Replacement

If the diseased native heart valve cannot be repaired, the surgeon may choose to replace it. The first step is to remove the diseased valve and then implant a prosthetic valve in its place. Prosthetic valves used to replace the heart's natural valves come in different sizes to fit the patient and are made from a variety of materials.

There are two main types of prosthetic heart valves:
  • Tissue (bioprosthetic) valves - made primarily from animal tissue [i.e., bovine pericardium (the sac surrounding a cow's heart), a pig's aortic (porcine) valve or human valves from cadavers]
  • Mechanical valves - created from synthetic (man-made) materials

There is more than one surgical approach to valve repair and replacement, including "minimal incision," which involves a smaller incision than the traditional "open chest" approach.
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

If a cardiac surgeon determines that you are too sick for heart surgery and if medicine is not helping you feel better, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may be an alternative. This less invasive procedure allows your aortic valve to be replaced with a new valve while your heart is still beating.

This information is not a substitute for talking with your doctor.