Heart Center | Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program

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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is a procedure for select patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve opening) who are not candidates for traditional open-chest surgery or are high-risk operable candidates.


TAVR is performed on a beating heart and does not require cardio-pulmonary bypass.

While up to 1.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from aortic stenosis (AS), approximately 500,000 within this group of patients suffer from severe AS.

The TAVR procedure enables the placement of a balloon expandable aortic heart valve into the body via the catheter-based transfemoral delivery system. The TAVR procedure is designed to provide an alternative treatment to patients in whom the traditional open-heart surgery can not be performed.The Edwards SAPIEN Valve is the first and only transcatheter aortic valve approved for use in the U.S., and Hartford Hospital is one of a few select hospitals that are now performing the procedure on qualified patients.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is TAVR?
A: TAVR is performed in high-risk and inoperable patients with aortic stenosis. All patients are carefully evaluated to see if they are candidates for traditional surgical aortic valve replacement and then TAVR can be considered for treatment. The goal is to provide the best treatment for each individual patient.

Q: When did Hartford Hospital begin offering TAVR?
A: November 2011

Q: How may TAVR procedures have been performed?
A: As of November 2011, more than 45,000 patients have been implanted with the TAVR procedure by multi-disciplinary heart teams worldwide.

Q: When was TAVR approved by the FDA?
A: In November 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve for the treatment of patients with severe AS native aortic valve stenosis who have been determined by a cardiac surgeon to be inoperable for open aortic valve replacement,and in whom existing co-morbidities would not preclude the expected benefit from correction of the aortic stenosis.

Q: Are there any research trials for TAVR?
A: There are ongoing research trials for TAVR for high-risk operable, moderate risk operable and inoperable patients.

Q: What are the risks with the TAVR procedure?
A: There are still risks associated with TAVR as there is with surgical AVR. These should be taken into consideration when discussing this procedure with your cardiologist.

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Patient Resources

Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Implantation for Aortic Stenosis in Patients Who Cannot Undergo Surgery 
New England Journal of Medicine

Edwards SAPIEN Valve
Edwards Lifesciences

HealthDay News Articles:

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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Program