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TAVR at Beacon

Lifesaving Treatment for Severe Aortic Stenosis

If you have severe aortic stenosis and have been told you are not a candidate for open-heart surgery, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) could be an option for you. Our structural heart team is trained and highly experienced in this potentially lifesaving procedure.

In aortic stenosis, the valve on the aorta – the main artery that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of the body – does not open fully, which decreases blood flow. TAVR uses a thin tube called a catheter, threaded through the blood vessels to reach the heart valve instead of opening up the chest and removing the diseased valve. A new valve is inserted into your aortic valve through the catheter and pushes the diseased valve’s leaflets (the flaps that open and close, allowing blood to flow through the valve) aside.

TAVR can be done through a tiny incision in the leg (called transfemoral), between the ribs (called transapical) or in the chest (called transaortic). Your doctors will decide the best method for you.

We’ll make sure you know how to take care of yourself before, during and after the procedure. Your safety, comfort and positive outcome are our top priorities.

About Aortic Stenosis

Also called aortic valve stenosis, this condition happens when the aortic valve narrows and the left ventricle has to work harder to pump blood.

As the pressure builds, the walls of the left ventricle can become thicker.

Aortic stenosis may be present from birth (congenital), but most often it develops later in life. It is most often caused by calcium deposits that build up and narrow the valve. This is called calcific aortic stenosis and affects mainly older people. Rheumatic fever can also cause aortic stenosis years after the infection, and this is called rheumatic aortic stenosis.

Many people find out they have aortic stenosis after a doctor notices they have a heart murmur (an unusual sound heard during a heartbeat) and orders tests. Some people don’t have symptoms until the condition is advanced. Symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain that gets worse with activity causing the chest to feel tight or squeezed
  • Pain in the arm, neck, or jaw
  • Cough, possibly bloody
  • Difficulty breathing during activity
  • Becoming tired easily
  • Feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
  • Fainting, weakness or dizziness

A Better Life with TAVR

Aortic stenosis can lead to serious health problems, such as heart failure, blood clots, atrial flutter or fibrillation, and high blood pressure in the arteries, called pulmonary hypertension. TAVR can prevent these complications, so you can be there for ones you love and live your life.

It’s best to be treated by a multidisciplinary team with extensive experience with aortic stenosis and its treatment. Beacon has the experience and technology you’re looking for, close to home.

Frequently Asked Questions About TAVR

How is the TAVR valve delivered?

TAVR valves can be delivered through multiple approaches, however the most common approach is through a small incision in the leg at the groin.

What tests are needed to determine if I am a TAVR candidate?

  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • CTA Scans of chest, abdomen and pelvis

What happens once all the testing is complete?

The TAVR team will meet and review the test options. They will determine from the test results if the TAVR procedure is right for you.

How long does the TAVR procedure last?

Typically 1-2 hours.

How long do I stay in the hospital?

Typically 1-2 days after the procedure depending on how your recovery is progressing.

Will I have much pain after the procedure?

You may have some discomfort. Some of this depends on the approach of how the TAVR catheter was placed.

When can I drive after the procedure?

In about a week, however, will be determined by your physician. Most people start to drive once they are no longer taking pain medications. Your TAVR team will discuss this with you.

Structural Heart Coordinators

Diana Hojara, BSN, RN

Mary E. Miller MSN, RN


Memorial Hospital


615 N. Michigan Street
South Bend IN, 46601

Open 24 Hours
Visitor Restrictions are in place in accordance with the CDC and Indiana state guidelines.

  • General Visiting Hours: 11 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Pediatrics & PICU Visiting Hours: 11 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • ICU & Open Heart Recovery Visiting Hours: 11 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Call to learn more.