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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with advanced aortic stenosis—a narrowing of the aortic valve—but you aren’t strong enough to undergo open-heart surgery, you’ll be glad to know that our network partner, Danbury Hospital’s Praxair Regional Heart and Vascular Center, offers an important new treatment option.

This new treatment option is called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), and it’s a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure that offers new hope for people who are too high risk for traditional open surgery.

In fact, Danbury Hospital is one of only five hospitals in Connecticut able to offer this advanced form of heart valve replacement. Our skilled interventional cardiologists have performed this innovative procedure since 2013.

TAVR replaces the narrowed aortic valve with a synthetic valve. The new heart valve is inserted into the body through a small incision in the upper leg or in the chest and delivered via catheter to the site of the damaged valve.

The synthetic valve device is made from cow tissue and polyester supported by a steel frame. The Danbury Hospital heart valve team uses both the Edwards SAPIEN valve and the Medtronic CoreValve, selecting the device that’s best for each patient during the pre-procedure planning process.

The TAVR procedure is performed under general anesthesia or, in some cases, local anesthesia with conscious sedation, but does not require opening the chest or the use of a heart-lung machine. Patients typically recover within a few days, and most report an immediate improvement in their symptoms.