Listed below is the step by step procedure of TAVI surgery:
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) are the names used interchangeably for denoting surgery for valve replacement. This is done in patients who are not eligible for normal valve replacement surgeries that are done using the traditional open heart technique.
Patients suffering from aortic valve stenosis or aortic stenosis have an improperly functioning aortic valve. People suffering from aortic stenosis find it difficult to execute simplest of routine activities like walking or climbing stairs without panting. For such patients, valve replacement is an option.
Valve replacement is done to repair a damaged valve by fitting an artificial one onto it. If a cardiac surgeon deems fit that you are not fit for open-heart surgery and also when medicines are not helping you feel any better, the TAVI/TAVR procedure may be an alternative.
The tests that are to be done before the actual day of valve replacement are few like electrocardiogram, blood tests, physical assessment and anesthetic evaluation. The patient needs to be physically fit and in a good health condition to be operated. A CT-scan is also ordered for the patient as that helps the doctor to know the size and make of the artificial valve that will be required. Blood vessels also can be assessed through a CT scan and whether the vessels will be able to tolerate the placement of an artificial valve.
On the day of procedure, following things happen before you are taken into the operation theater for TAVI Surgery:
The patient is administered general anesthesia for making him fall asleep during the TAVR procedure. An intravenous line is connected to the patient's arm for injecting medications to avert blood clots forming during procedure.
During the treatment, the doctor will keep a tab on your heart rate and heartbeat patterns. Changes in the same can be managed with treatment or medication during surgery itself.
In a TAVR, heart is accessed either through a large artery by way of incision made in your chest or via a blood vessel in your leg. Subsequently, a catheter is inserted through the access point. Imaging techniques are used by the doctor to see how the catheter passes through your blood vessels, to your heart and into your aortic valve.
Once it's positioned as expected, a balloon is inserted for properly super-imposing the replacement valve into the intended place in the original aortic valve. When your doctor is certain the valve is securely in place, the catheter is withdrawn from your blood vessel or from the incision in your chest.
The TAVI surgery is a comparatively safe procedure and a minimally invasive one. However, it does carry few risks with itself. Few of them are as listed below:
A. Benefits of the TAVI surgery include a shorter surgery time, less pain, and a shorter stay in the hospital. Recovery time is also significantly shorter than after say an open-heart surgery. The person recovers in about 2-4 weeks. TAVI not only reduces discomfort but also improves life expectancy and quality of life.
A. There is no age limit. But the person needs to be absolutely fit to be considered fine for the TAVI surgery. Only then will he/she be given the final nod.
You can be sure to spend at least 7 days in the hospital following the surgery.
The follow-up appointment will be scheduled by your doctor exactly after a month from the surgery date.
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