Transcatheter valve implantation (TAVI)
Cardiac Services Infoline

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What is transcatheter valve implantation?

Transcatheter valve implantation or TAVI, also known as transcatheter valve replacement or TAVR, refers to a common procedure that replaces a faulty aortic valve with a new valve made from natural animal tissue. The aortic valve is responsible for controlling the blood flow from your heart to your body. If the valve stiffens or narrows and stops working efficiently, it can put pressure on the heart to pump even harder, potentially increasing the risk of heart failure. This condition is known as aortic stenosis. TAVI surgery can help regulate the blood flow, relieve pressure on the heart and reduce uncomfortable heart-related symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain. It is usually performed as a minimally invasive procedure. 

What does it do?

TAVI is an effective medical procedure to repair a diseased aortic valve. When the aortic valve no longer opens fully or functions effectively, this condition is known as aortic stenosis. In a healthy heart, the aortic valve must open and close fully with each heartbeat to ensure enough blood reaches the aorta. If this mechanism does not work effectively, the aorta cannot receive enough oxygen-rich blood from the heart to send around your body. If the blood is forced to travel through a smaller area, the heart can become overworked and put patients at risk of heart failure. Transcatheter valve implantation improves the damaged valve mechanism by replacing it with a new one. This reduces the risk of severe complications that are associated with aortic stenosis. 

How does it work?

Transcatheter valve implantation is a minimally invasive surgery that works by replacing the diseased aortic valve with a synthetic alternative. The new valve is guided into place and positioned inside the old valve where it expands and forms the replacement. TAVI was originally used primarily as an alternative for patients unable to undergo open heart surgery, but it is now commonly suggested as a treatment option for low-risk patients.

Why is it performed?

If you are suffering from aortic stenosis where your aortic valve does not open fully, your doctor may recommend transcatheter valve implantation to prevent potential heart failure. It may also be recommended if you are considered too high risk for open heart surgery.


TAVI can be performed using general or local anaesthetic. During the procedure, a special type of balloon catheter is inserted into an artery either via the groin or underneath your collarbone. When the catheter reaches your heart, it is positioned at the opening of the diseased aortic valve and the balloon is gently inflated. The new aortic valve is implanted and kept in place using a mesh tube. It is positioned in such a way that the damaged valve is pushed aside. The new aortic valve is checked to make sure that it is working properly before the catheter is removed and you are taken to recovery.


You will be monitored closely after your TAVI procedure, and your doctor will talk to you about when it is safe to return home. This is usually within a couple of days. You may experience some bruising around the insertion area, but this should subside in a few days. Upon discharge, you will be provided with a detailed recovery plan including nutritional advice, wound care, and pain control. You will gradually be able to return to normal activities, although a complete Transcatheter valve implantation recovery may take up to several weeks.

What's next?

If you have been experiencing heart-related symptoms, book an appointment with our cardiac services specialist today.

Have questions?

Unsure about your next steps? Get in touch today, we’re here to help.

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