As we age, the aortic valve hardens and that can require replacement. TAVR, trans-catheter aortic valve replacement is a less invasive way to replace the valve. Dr. Roi Altit, an Interventional Cardiologist at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, says the valve is replaced with a catheter threaded through an artery. Open heart surgery is now not always needed. There are now three different types of valves used in this procedure. Dr. Altit says the most recently approved, the Lotus Edge, is giving doctors flexibility, the others have not.
This valve can be put into place, and if a doctor finds there's a problem with location or fit, the valve can be removed and the valve can be deployed again. Other valves lack this ability and once those valves are put into place, the doctor and patient must live with the results. He says the Lotus Edge is giving doctors more control and precision.
He says each case is different and not all valves are suitable for every patient. According to Dr. Altit, the Lotus Edge is a larger valve, so the person's blood vessels must be a bit larger for this one to be used. Other considerations include, if the patient has a pacemaker or a lot of calcium build-up, one valve may be more appropriate than another. He says all three valve types are needed in TAVR procedures and the type used is dictated by the patient, the circumstances and the doctor.