What tests will my doctor perform to determine if TAVR is right for me?

Your doctor may use one or more of these tests to determine if TAVR is the best option for you.

  • Chest X-ray: A type of imaging to view images of the organs and structures inside your chest. You will be placed between a metal plate and the x-ray machine. The x-ray technician will take several images of your chest in a variety of positions. This may take up to 30 minutes to perform.
  • Transthoracic echochardiogram (TTE): This diagnostic test (also known as an echo) uses ultrasound to obtain 3D images of the heart. While you are lying on a table, a probe will be placed on your chest wall and will use sound waves to provide detailed pictures of your heart. This usually takes 30-60 minutes.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A diagnostic test that uses magnetic and radio waves to take detailed pictures of your heart. You will be asked to lie down on a bed that moves into a large tube. You won’t feel anything but will hear a noise as the images are acquired. You will be asked to lie very still for duration of test.  This usually takes 30-90 minutes.
  • Pulmonary function test (PFT): A group of tests, using special breathing equipment, that will measure how well your lungs are moving oxygen to the blood. These can take 60-120 minutes.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: An imaging test that uses x-rays to obtain detailed pictures of your heart and blood vessels. You will be injected with contrast dye through an IV. You will be asked to lie down on a bed that passes through a donut-shaped x-ray scanner to take clear images of your heart.  This takes up to 60 minutes.
  • Angiogram (cardiac cath): An imaging test that uses x-ray and dye to see how blood flows through your arteries and veins. You will lie on your back on an x-ray table. A small incision will be made and a small tube, called a catheter, will be inserted either in your groin or near your elbow. Dye will be injected into the vessel to make the area show clearly on the x-ray pictures. This takes up to 60 minutes.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram:  A test that obtains detailed pictures of your heart by inserting a probe down the esophagus (throat).  While lying on a table, a technician will spray your throat with medicine to numb and supress your gag reflex. A thin flexible tube will be guided down your throat. The probe will send and receive sound waves which will become pictures on a video screen. This may take up to 60 minutes.
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