Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) is the first hospital in the Inland Empire to be Joint Commission accredited to provide Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Supported by Loma Linda University International Heart Institute (LLUIHI), Adult Cardiology Department and Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, we have a strong heritage of medical excellence, outcomes and knowledge, enabling us to deliver exceptional patient care.
What is severe aortic stenosis?
Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of your aortic valve opening that prevents normal blood flow. It can be caused by a birth defect, rheumatic fever, radiation therapy, or can be related to age and cause dizziness, palpitations, and shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain or tightness in the chest. However, it is important to remember that heart valve disease often occurs with no outward symptoms and may go undetected.
In elderly patients, severe aortic stenosis is sometimes caused by the build-up of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve’s leaflets. Over time the leaflets become stiff, reducing their ability to fully open and close. When the leaflets don’t fully open, the heart must work harder to push blood through the aortic valve in the body body. Eventually, the heart gets weaker, increasing the risk of heart failure (the heart cannot supply enough blood to your body).
Trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a nonsurgical approach for severely ill patients who are not candidates for traditional open-heart surgery. The procedure involves replacing a narrowed aortic valve by using a catheter to insert a new valve into the aorta. Procedure time is generally two to three hours and patients often experience a shorter hospital stay and require less anesthesia.
The TAVR procedure requires the collaboration of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to evaluate and select patients in order to provide the best outcomes. Dr. Anees Razzouk, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, said “Loma Linda University Medical Center was selected as the site to do this procedure partially because our traditional approach to patient care has been a team approach, especially when it comes to cardiac patients. We work daily with cardiologists and other professionals to present the best options of care for our patients.”
For more information on the program or to refer a patient, please call our TAVR coordinator at Loma Linda University International Heart Institute at 909-558-7717.