Mary Washington Hospital’s Structural Heart Program Adds TAVR to
its Valve Clinic
TAVRTranscatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, is a minimally invasive
surgical treatment option now available to patients with aortic stenosis
who are considered too high-risk for traditional open-heart surgery.
Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows and
obstructs blood flow to the body. As the condition progresses, the heart
weakens as it works harder to pump blood across the narrowed valve.
Valve replacement surgery is considered the gold standard of treatment,
but some patients are too elderly or weak for such an invasive procedure,
and medical treatment alone isn’t enough. With TAVR, physicians
guide an artificial heart valve through an artery in the groin or directly
into the heart using a tiny catheter, position it within the patient’s
native heart valve, and open it to restore blood flow.
Evaluation for aortic stenosis begins at Mary Washington Hospital’s
Valve Clinic, where patients are screened in coordination with their referring
cardiologist or primary care physician. Then the Structural Heart Team,
comprising referring cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiac
surgeons, diagnostic radiologists, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare
professionals, determines if TAVR is the best course of treatment.
To perform TAVR, Mary Washington Hospital had to meet guidelines established
by CMS and the FDA, including creation of a structural heart center model
that includes a valve clinic, collaborative heart team, and an advanced
procedure room equipped with the critical features of an operating room
and a catheterization lab.