FDA expands use of less-invasive aortic valve replacement procedure

It is estimated that 76% of aortic valve replacements will be done by the TAVR procedure by 2025.  

Fred Bodimer
August 21, 2019 - 10:55 am
male doctor holding heart
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — Good news for some cardiac patients who need an aortic valve transplant.  

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a new and less invasive approach to replace a bad aortic valve for low-risk patients.

"This is a procedure by which one can have their aortic valve replaced strictly by catheter and without open-heart surgery," said Dr. Michael Lim, a SLU Care cardiologist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  

"The FDA has now seen data that says even patients who are at low risk for surgical aortic valve replacement are indicated for trans-thoracic aortic valve replacement — also known as TAVR," Dr. Lim tells KMOX.  "This leaves patients with (a) significant choice between a catheter-based procedure with a shorter-term follow-up and recovery time versus the traditional surgical aortic valve replacement with great long term results as well."

Up until now, the procedure was only approved for inoperable patients and those at intermediate risk.  

Symptoms of what is called aortic valve stenosis include fainting, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart rhythms, cardiac arrest or death.  

The need for aortic valve replacement increases with age. It occurs in about 3% of Americans over age 75.  

"The development of the transcatheter aortic valve is, in my opinion, the most significant development in cardiovascular disease treatment in the last decade," said Dr. Lim. "This outranks so many other things that we do."

It is estimated that 76% of aortic valve replacements will be done by the TAVR procedure by 2025.  

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