Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)

Your consultant may recommend transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) if they feel that conventional open heart surgery isn’t the right approach for you. The procedure involves inserting an artificial valve into your heart through a small (1cm) incision at the top of your leg. Successful treatment will improve your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body.

What happens during a TAVI procedure?

TAVI is usually performed under light sedation with local anaesthetic. Your consultant will insert a thin, flexible tube (a delivery catheter) through a small cut in the skin, usually in your groin but sometimes between your ribs or under your collarbone.

The catheter is then passed towards the heart and through the opening of the narrowed aortic valve. A small balloon may be inflated to open your aortic valve and make room for the artificial valve. This new valve is expanded to fit in place of the old, narrowed valve. The whole procedure takes one to two hours.

After your TAVI procedure?

The recovery time for TAVI is generally much faster than for traditional open heart surgery. Most patients go home within 2 days following the procedure. The patient can expect great symptomatic relieve and will be given pain relief medication. It may take up to weeks to fully recovery,then you can get back to your usual routine, including work.