Transcatheter Aortic Valve replacement (TAVR)
Sarasota Memorial’s Valve Clinic is an outpatient service to evaluate and manage patients with complex valve disorders, such as severe aortic stenosis and mitral disease, and identify those eligible for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).
In November 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved TAVR – also known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation, or TAVI, as the first catheter-based valve replacement option for people who cannot tolerate surgery to repair their diseased valves. In May 2012, the FDA expanded the less invasive valve replacement procedure for patients with aortic valve stenosis who are eligible for surgery, but at high risk for serious surgical complications or death.
Sarasota Memorial was one of the first sites approved in southwest Florida to offer TAVR. Our Valve Team– the most experienced in the region – trained at Columbia University Medical Center. Sarasota Memorial’s clinical affiliation with Columbia provides 24/7 consultation between our cardiac team and Columbia’s Division of Cardiac Surgery, as well as accelerated access to clinical trials and the latest innovations and treatment options in cardiac care.
Advanced Treatment Options
At Sarasota Memorial, our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons flex and combine their skills with remarkable results. Our state-of-the-art Hybrid Operating Room supports a multi-disciplinary approach so that specialists and surgeons can work together to treat multiple medical issues simultaneously.
The hybrid approach creates a safer environment where interventional approaches can be performed under even the most complex conditions, including patients who are considered high risk, and ensures the best technology and techniques are selected for each patient.
How TAVR Works
During the procedure, a catheter is advanced to the aortic valve, either through the groin (femoral artery) or through a small chest incision and through the bottom part of the heart (apex). Once the catheter is in place, a tissue valve with metal stent scaffolding is positioned and deployed utilizing X-ray guidance. The expanding stent anchors the new valve in place, preventing the need for cardiopulmonary bypass or open surgery—and their associated effects.
The FDA has approved two approaches:
- Transfemoral approach, in which the catheter is inserted into the femoral artery through a small incision in the groin area and then guided to the heart
- Transapical approach, in which the catheter is inserted through a small incision between the ribs of the left lower chest and the replacement valve is then inserted directly into the heart. This secondary approach is used in patients whose vessels are twisted, too calcified, or too small to access the aortic valve using the transfemoral approach. It is the latest FDA-approved treatment for people suffering from severe aortic stenosis who may have been previously considered high-risk for open surgery.
Sarasota Memorial's valve team is experienced using both approaches.
INFORMATION OR REFERRALS
Valve Clinic Manager Jennifer Sullivan, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, is available to answer questions, coordinate care with referring physicians, and help schedule appointments to ensure smooth, efficient patient care.
Sarasota Memorial Heart & Vascular Services
1540 S. Tamiami Trail, 2nd floor, Sarasota
The Valve Clinic is open every Thursday afternoon by appointment.
Medicare and most insurance plans cover this service. A physician referral is required, but patients are welcome to contact Program Manager Jennifer Sullivan with any questions at the contact numbers provided below.