TAVI: A Minimally Invasive Solution for Aortic Valvular Stenosis

Life expectancy is increasing worldwide due to factors such as improved hygiene and advanced medical care. Nevertheless, age related health concerns are increasing alongside the growing population of elderly citizens, with cardiovascular diseases playing a major part.

Valvular stenosis is a heart condition in which a heart’s valve becomes narrower than normal. The most common heart valve disease is aortic valvular stenosis, which causes symptoms that include fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and syncope (fainting). Aortic valvular stenosis is a dangerous condition that can increase the risk of heart failure and sudden death. 

Aging is a common cause for aortic valvular stenosis; other contributing factors include high cholesterol, obesity, inactivity, smoking, and diabetes. Developing healthy lifestyle habits as early as possible may help towards preventing the condition.

 

TAVI May Be the Answer

Traditional aortic valve replacement involves removing the narrowed aortic valve and replacing it with a prosthetic one through open heart surgery. TAVI, short for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, is a modern, effective procedure, with fewer potential risks, used to correct a dysfunctional aortic valve without the need for its removal through open heart surgery.

 

The TAVI Procedure

At Bumrungrad International Hospital, the TAVI procedure is performed by a highly skilled heart specialist, with support from a team of specialized nurses, cardiothoracic technologists, and anesthesiologist.

Under general anesthesia or intravenous sedative agent, a catheter with a balloon on its tip is inserted through a small incision in the groin area into an artery. The catheter is guided through the artery to the heart, positioning itself at the opening of the aortic valve. The balloon is then inflated allowing for the new TAVI valve to be set in place. The valve is balloon-expanded or self-expanded inside of the damaged valve leaving it wrapped around the TAVI valve without requiring its removal. The balloon and catheter are then removed leaving only a small scar.

Being a minimally-invasive procedure, recovery time is shorter than for open heart surgery, and reduces the risk of infection and other complications.

 

Consult a Doctor

People deemed high risk for traditional aortic valve replacement surgery can look to TAVI as an alternative option; however, not everyone is eligible for TAVI. You can consult a cardiologist at the Bumrungrad International Heart Center for more information on TAVI and aortic valve disease. Physicians and nurses at the Heart Center are able to help anyone worried about their heart health and concerned family members may also consult a doctor on their behalf.    

 
By the Heart Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital   
 

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