General questions about valve replacement:
- What are the benefits and risks with each option?
- How will you decide which option is best for me?
- Will I need any more tests to determine the best treatment option for me?
- Am I a suitable candidate for TAVI evaluation?
Questions about how the valve is replaced:
- What happens during TAVI?
- What happens during open-heart surgery?
- What preparation will I need to do before TAVI or open-heart surgery?
- How much pain will I feel?
- How long will the valve replacement take?
Questions about recovery:
- How long is recovery with each option?
- Will I need any special care after either option?
- Do I need to take any medicines, and what are the possible side effects?
- How quickly can I expect to go back to work/go on holiday/get back to my favourite activities?
- Should I continue to take my medicines for pre-existing conditions or diseases?
Meet the healthcare professionals who might be in your Heart Team1
As well as being the first point of contact after a GP referral and diagnosing aortic stenosis, a cardiologist will work with the rest of the team and you.
An interventional cardiologist specialises in catheter-based heart procedures and performs TAVI. Works closely with the cardiologist and surgeon.
A cardiac surgeon performs open-heart surgery. Works closely with the cardiologist and interventional cardiologist.
An anaesthetist works to provide safe anaesthesia during the procedure.
Having specialised in cardiology, specialist nurses perform tests and provide care, information, education and counselling. They are often a key carer during recovery after the procedure.3
Imaging specialists perform tests such as echocardiograms. They provide the team with images of the heart and aortic valve at each stage of treatment – from diagnosis to confirming treatment success after the procedure.
1. British Cardiovascular Society. Getting the best from the Heart Team: Guidance for the structure and function of cardiac multidisciplinary meetings. Available at: https://www.britishcardiovascularsociety.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0023/32657/MDM-Guidance-Final-Confirmed-for-Publication-May-2021.pdf (accessed July 2021).
2. Global Heart Hub. Heart Valve Disease: Working Together to Create a Better Patient Journey. Available at: https://globalhearthub.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/HeartValveReport2020.pdf (accessed June 2021).
3. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Aortic stenosis: transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Information for patients, relatives and carers. Available at: https://tinyurl.com/84w5v9t5 (accessed June 2021).