TAVI (TRANSCATHETER AORTIC VALVE IMPLANTATION)

What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)?

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, also called TAVI in short, is a surgical procedure to repair a damaged aortic valve. TAVI involves inserting a new, biologically made valve created from animal heart tissue into the heart.

When is TAVI required?

TAVI is advised when you develop an issue with the aortic valve, and open heart surgery is considered high risk. The aortic valve makes up one of the four primary valves of the heart. During periodic heartbeats, the valve opens and shuts, allowing the seamless flow of blood throughout the body in a single direction. However, with age, calcium accumulates within the valve, causing the valve to thicken and harden over time. As a result, due to the weakened state of the aortic valve, the valve cannot open completely. Therefore, the heart works harder for blood to flow through the restricted valve. The condition is referred to as aortic stenosis, which arises when the aortic valve narrows and blood cannot flow smoothly. Unfortunately, aortic stenosis leads to difficulty breathing, lethargy, chest pain and dizziness.

How do you perform TAVI?

Dr Muller numbs the area where he prepares to insert the balloon catheter. Afterwards, he inserts the catheter through the artery in the groin .Using image guidance, Dr Muller guides the catheter through the heart and positions it at the entrance of the aortic valve. He then inflates the balloon to widen the valve and inserts a new, healthier valve using a specialised catheters. Next, Dr Muller expands the valve using a balloon, or the valve dilates independently. He strategically positions the new valve, and once this is done, he deflates the balloon and removes the catheter along with the deflated balloon at the tip.

What can you expect after TAVI?

Before returning home, Dr Muller provides detailed post-operative instructions to ensure you heal optimally after the procedure. You must follow these instructions and attend regular follow-ups with the doctor. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you must contact Dr Muller immediately:

  • High fever
  • Pain
  • Redness (inflammation) at the catheter site
  • Swelling or drainage at the incision site

FAQ

When should I contact Dr Muller after TAVI?

You should make an appointment with Dr Muller at least six weeks after TAVI, sometimes sooner, depending on your condition.

How long does it take to recover fully after TAVI?

A complete recovery is expected to take between two to three months.

What can I expect after TAVI?

You can expect mild aches and pain after the procedure. There may be pain in your groin where arterial access was obtained. These changes should subside within a few weeks after TAVI.

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