Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) – Holston Valley

Minimally invasive TAVR procedure in Kingsport, Tennessee

What is TAVR?

TAVR is a less invasive procedure for treating severe symptomatic aortic stenosis that does not require open heart surgery.

During the TAVR procedure, a prosthetic (artificial) valve is inserted within the native, diseased aortic valve.

The TAVR procedure can be performed through multiple approaches:

  • Transfemoral – done through the femoral artery, which involves an incision in the groin area
  • Transaortic – done through the aorta or aortic valve of the heart
  • Transapical – requires the breastbone be opened

Benefits of TAVR

  • Relief of symptoms, in some cases immediately
  • Reduction of pain and anxiety
  • Improved heart function
  • Potentially shorter recovery time (when compared to traditional open-heart surgery)

Quality of life improvement

TAVR has shown improvement in patients’ health as early as 30 days after the procedure.

Patients reported improvement in quality of life, including:

  • Ability to take care of themselves
  • Ability to participate in everyday activities

Download our patient brochure [PDF] to learn more.

What is severe aortic stenosis?

Severe aortic stenosis causes a narrowing or obstruction of the heart’s aortic valve. It is usually caused by calcium deposits that accumulate over time on the valve’s leaflets, the flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate the flow of blood in one direction through the valve.

This condition affects the valve’s ability to open and close properly, causing the heart to work harder and increasing the risk of heart failure.

Aortic stenosis is typically a disease of older patients, as calcium gradually builds up gradually over the years.

Aortic stenosis facts

It’s estimated that about 12.4% of people in the U.S. over age 75 – about 2.5 million people – suffer from aortic stenosis.1,2

Between now and the year 2050, the senior population will more than double to 80 million,3 so the population at risk for aortic stenosis will continue growing.

Aortic stenosis is also more likely to affect men than women. 80% of adults with symptomatic aortic stenosis are male.5

What are the symptoms of aortic stenosis?

The symptoms of aortic disease are often misunderstood to be “normal” signs of aging.

Many patients don’t appear to have symptoms initially, but when examined more closely, up to 32% show symptoms.2

These symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Syncope or presyncope
  • Angina
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty when exercising
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Palpitations (an uncomfortable awareness of heart beating rapidly or irregularly)

However, it’s important to realize severe aortic stenosis may occur with no outward symptoms.

Why treatment is critical

It is possible to live with aortic stenosis without symptoms for many years.

However, once symptoms being, even normal day-to-day activities such as walking short distances or climbing stairs can become very challenging.

And without treatment, symptomatic aortic stenosis will eventually lead to death.

After symptoms start, patients with severe aortic stenosis have a survival rate as low as 50% after 2 years and 20% at 5 years without aortic valve replacement.5

If you are experiencing symptoms, it’s urgent that you see your doctor for treatment.6

How is aortic stenosis diagnosed?

There are multiple tools your doctor can use to determine if you have severe aortic stenosis.

Of those tools, echocardiograms are one of the best ways to diagnose the disease.1

How do I get started?

If you think you might have aortic stenosis or might be a candidate for TAVR, please contact the structural heart coordinator at (423) 230-6916.

Or speak to your primary care provider.


Content courtesy of Edwards and
Aortic Stenosis Facts through Impact of Untreated, Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis on Patients References:
1. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 2015.
2. Osnabrugge, Ruben L.J., et al. Aortic Stenosis in the Elderly. Disease Prevalence and Number Candidates for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: A Meta-Analysis and Modeling Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013; 62:1002-1012.
3. U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Brief. May 1995.
4. Ramaraj R, Sorrell V. Degenerative aortic stenosis. BMJ 2008; 336:550-5.
5. Otto C. VALVE DISEASE: Timing of aortic valve surgery. Heart. 2000; 84(2):211-218.
6. Lester S, Heilbron B, Dodek A, Gin K, Jue J. The Natural History and Rate of Progression of Aortic Stenosis. Chest. 1998; 113(4):1109.
7. Bach D, Siao D, Girard S, Duvernoy C, McCallister B, Gualano S. Evaluation of Patients With Severe Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis Who Do Not Undergo Aortic Valve Replacement: The Potential Role of Subjectively Overestimated Operative Risk. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2009; 2(6):533-539.
8. Nishimura R, Otto C, Bonow R, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease: Executive Summary. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014; 63(22):2438-2488.
9. National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Fact Sheets. Seercancergov. Available at: Accessed November 16, 2010.
10. Stewart B, Siscovick D, Lind B, et al. Clinical factors associated with calcific aortic valve disease. Cardiovascular Health Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997; 29(3):630-634.
11. Freed B, Sugeng L, Furlong K et al. Reasons for Nonadherence to Guidelines for Aortic Valve Replacement in Patients With Severe Aortic Stenosis and Potential Solutions. Am J Cardiol. 2010; 105(9):1339-1342.
12. Bouma B, van den Brink R, van der Meulen J, et al. To operate or not on elderly patients with aortic stenosis: the decision and its consequences. Heart. 1999; 82(2):143-148.
13. Pellikka P, Sarano M, Nishimura R, et al. Outcome of 622 adults with asymptomatic, hemodynamically significant aortic stenosis during prolonged follow-up. Circulation. 2005; 111(24):3290-3295.
14. Charlson E, Legedza A, Hamel M. Decision-making and outcomes in severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. J Heart Valve Dis. 2006; 15(3):312-321.
15. Varadarajan P, Kapoor N, Banscal RC, Pai RG. Clinical profile and natural history of 453 nonsurgically managed patients with severe aortic stenosis. Ann Thorac Surg. 2006; 82(6):2111-2115.
16. Jan F, Andreev M, Mori N, Janosik B, Sagar K. Unoperated patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. Circulation. 2009; 120;S753.

Symptoms and Diagnosing Aortic Stenosis References:
1. Saikrishnan N, Kumar G, Sawaya F, Lerakis S, Yoganathan A. Accurate assessment of aortic stenosis: a review of diagnostic modalities and hemodynamics. Circulation. 2014; 129(2):244-253.
2. Das P, Rimington H, Chambers J. Exercise testing to stratify risk in aortic stenosis. Eur Heart J. 2005; 26(13):1309-1313.