Answers to Common Aortic Stenosis Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about aortic stenosis.

How is the decision made when choosing between the classical and transcatheter aortic valve replacements?

Premier Health’s Dr. George Broderick discusses how the decision for a classical or transcatheter aortic valve replacement is made. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

For years, aortic stenosis (AS) has been treated by replacing the valve with human tissue, donor (animal) tissue, or an artificial valve. As NewHeartValve.com explains, the classical aortic valve replacement procedure is an open-heart operation. In other words, it requires a sternotomy—opening and spreading the ribs.

Advances in surgical procedures allow this procedure to be done through less invasive means, such as:

  • Minimal incision valve surgery (MIVS), which requires only small incisions—one to thread a small camera to the surgical site and another to manipulate the tissue for removal and replacement.
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which delivers a new valve that will be inserted or placed over the existing diseased valve through catheters threated through a vein in the leg or chest.

The type of procedure is determined by the health of the patient. As Dr. Broderick explains, doctors will assess a number of factors, including:

  • Patient’s age
  • Patient’s risk for surgical complications (e.g. complications from anesthesia)
  • The health of the heart muscle
  • Other health issues that may contraindicate open-heart surgery, such as
    • Kidney disease
    • Chronic lung problems (COPD)
    • Vascular problems
    • Diabetes
  • Previous health issues that may contraindicate open-heart surgery, such as:
    • Previous heart surgery
    • Stroke
    • Radiation treatment to the chest

The TAVR procedure is most commonly recommended for elderly and frail patients.

Talk to your doctor to find out if classical or transcatheter aortic valve replacement is the best treatment for your aortic stenosis.

Learn more:

Source: George Broderick, Jr., MD, FACC, The Premier Heart Associates

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