Receiving news that you’ve been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis and may need your aortic valve replaced can be scary. You may wonder if you will be able to participate in your favorite activities, eat the same foods, or approach life in the same way.
Although these feelings can be overwhelming, it is important to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options, especially if you are experiencing symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath. These symptoms of aortic stenosis may mean your condition is getting worse and you need to seek treatment right away.
The good news is, open heart surgery is not the only way to replace an aortic heart valve. There is a less invasive alternative available for people diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. This treatment is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR for short. This procedure used to only be available for people who were too weak to undergo open heart surgery. But now, TAVR is available to more people depending on their risk for open heart surgery. The procedure may also be an option for people who had their aortic valve replaced in the past, but need a new one because the replacement valve may no longer work.
TAVR is giving new hope to people suffering from severe aortic stenosis who are at increased risk for open heart surgery. To see if the procedure is right for you, seek out expert care from a TAVR Doctor who can evaluate you for all of your treatment options.
Your TAVR Doctor will run several tests to determine the best treatment plan for you and to evaluate if you are a TAVR candidate. Some of these tests include:
In some cases, you may have already taken some of these tests. However, it may be important that the tests be taken again at the request of your TAVR Doctor.
Although it may feel like a lot of appointments, it’s important because your TAVR Doctor wants to make sure they are recommending the best treatment option for you. This may involve a longer evaluation process, but your life is worth it.
Your TAVR Doctor will decide the best way to replace your heart valve and if TAVR is the right treatment path for you.
Your personal health history will be needed to determine your best treatment option. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a history of any of the following:
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
- Prior open heart surgery
- Fatigue (low energy)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Frailty (weakness)
- Prior chest radiation
- Coronary artery disease
- Kidney failure