Minimally invasive procedures continue to evolve and improve including those for heart surgeries. One in particular is the TAVR, or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement procedure. In the past this surgery was performed as an open heart surgery resulting in a lengthy hospital stay. Times have changed for those who have aortic valve disease. Let’s learn more about its benefits and how to prepare for your TAVR procedure.
Basic Facts and Benefits of TAVR
TAVR treats heart valve disease like aortic stenosis or narrowing of the aortic valve. This blocks the flow of blood to your body and makes your heart work harder. The results are chest pain and shortness of breath.
This procedure replaces a valve that is not working or is diseased. The new valve is made from animal tissue. This valve is one of 4 valves and it specifically controls blood flow in the heart through the aorta and to the rest of the body.
TAVR only requires a tiny cut in the skin rather than an open heart sternotomy where the chest is surgically separated.
Preparing for TAVR Surgery
Your TAVR surgeon is your best source and will advise you about how to prepare for this minimally invasive procedure.
Exercise Prior to TAVR
Be sure to discuss how much exercise is appropriate. This will depend on the severity of your aortic stenosis. Update New Jersey Cardiology Associates about any new symptoms which have occurred while exercising like additional chest pain, shortness of breath, and if you start to feel faint.
Make sure you are clear about what medications to take prior to surgery and what not to take that could cause complications. That includes days before the procedure and the day of the procedure.
Diet Before TAVR
This includes the foods New Jersey Cardiology Associates recommends you eat as the surgery date nears. In addition, be sure you understand what food and drink you can have, or not have, just prior to the procedure.
See Your Dentist
Having a checkup and a cleaning should be on your to-do list before your surgery. Bacteria from your mouth can cause an infection in your new valve.
Have a Plan for After Surgery
Once you know how long you will be in the hospital and what recovery will be like, you can develop a plan for post-surgery assistance. Things like a driver, help with children, meals, and other important errands can be organized before you have surgery.
Contact New Jersey Cardiology Associates if you want to learn more about TAVR or if you have more questions or concerns about an upcoming TAVR surgery.