TAVR (Transcatheter aortic valve replacement) is a form of valve replacement surgery which is used to treat patients suffering from aortic stenosis. It is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed without the removal of the original valve, instead it involves the placement of the prosthetic valve inside the affected aortic valve. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement has help to treat millions of patients worldwide. Unlike the traditional open heart surgery in which the patient's chest is cut open and the heart is directly operated upon, transcatheter aortic valve implantation is carried out by making very small incisions through which the catheter is introduced inside the patient's body. TAVR/TAVI surgery in India has gained a lot of momentum in the recent past as a large number of patients are opting for these surgeries. However there are a number of risks associated with the surgery as well.
Aortic stenosis has been a matter of concern for cardiologists around the world's. It is one of the main reasons responsible for heart strokes. Aortic stenosis is a medical condition in which a person's aortic valve gets blocked due to excessive accumulation of cholesterol, calcium and other impurities which are collectively known as plaque. The normal functioning of the heart is very important for the sustenance of life. Blockage in the aortic valve hinders the normal functioning of the heart by creating a barrier against the free flow of blood. This results in chronic chest pains, breathlessness, nausea, unconsciousness, palpitation and increased risk of heart attack. Timely treatment of the problem is very crucial for a healthy life.
The patient undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement is given anaesthesia to induce unconsciousness. The catheter fitted with a deflated balloon is inserted inside the patient's body by making very small incision on his chest or near the groin. The whole procedure is carefully monitored with the help of the images generated by an x-ray machine on a computer screen. The catheter moved towards the affected area very gently and carefully. Once the catheter is in place, the prosthetic valve is expanded by inflating the balloon. The catheter and the balloon are then removed via the same incision.
Although transcatheter aortic valve implantation is a very efficient method but the procedure is quiet risky as well. Any carelessness during the surgery can lead to stroke or even death. Incase the new prosthetic valve is not position properly it can lead to blood leaks that can prove to be very fatal. The surgery is performed by using anaesthesia and can grow extremely risky for people allergic to it. There are also increase chances of infection at the site of incision. Other problems that can be triggered by transcatheter aortic valve implantation include Stent malpositioning/migration and Coronary obstruction.