Answers to Common Aortic Stenosis Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about aortic stenosis.

What testing is done to see if a patient is a TAVR candidate?

The transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure is an alternative to the classical open-heart surgery for those at high-risk for operative mortality (death during or soon after surgery). A number of factors go into determining if the TAVR procedure is the best method of valve replacement, including:

  • Age
  • Current health (e.g. kidney, lung, heart and/or vascular problems, diabetes)
  • Medical history (e.g. previous lung or heart surgeries)

Doctors gather much of the information they need by talking to a patient and reviewing medical records. outlines several tests that help doctors determine if a person is a good TAVR candidate or not. Many of the tests are performed by a patient’s primary healthcare provider and/or primary cardiologist as part of the process to diagnose aortic stenosis, such as:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • MRI

Other tests give doctors more detailed information about the condition of the aorta, the aortic valve, lung function, etc. These tests include:

  • Pulmonary function test (PFT)
  • CT scan
  • Angiogram
  • Transesophogeal echocardiogram

If a person is deemed a good candidate for a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, these tests can also help the doctor determine the type of TAVR that is best for the patient. The types of TAVR procedure are defined by the entry point for the catheter:

  • Transfemoral—incision made in the thigh
  • Transapical—incision made between the ribs
  • Transaortic—incision made in the chest

Talk to your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate for transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Learn more:

Source: The Premier Heart Associates

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