Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

young doctor showing results to a patient

Minimally invasive procedures like Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) offer heart patients the potential for less scarring, less blood loss, less pain, and a faster recovery.

TAVR at Covenant Health

You can trust that the Covenant Health heart care team has the knowledge and experience to successfully manage your procedure. In fact, we were the first to bring TAVR to East Tennessee, and we continue to lead the region in TAVR cases. 

  • The first TAVR was performed at Parkwest Medical Center on June 6, 2012. 
  • Since then, Covenant Health has performed more than 1,000 TAVR procedures. 
  • Our annual average of 70 cases per year is more than double the average of 30 cases per year among 223 other medical centers that participated in the PARTNER (Placement of Aortic Transcatheter) Valves Trial.

Our Team

Our TAVR team is made up of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and anesthesiologists from Parkwest Medical Center, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, and Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge

The TAVR team that will care for you also includes nurses and technicians with specialized training. Plus, a nurse navigator will help to:

  • Educate you about your procedure
  • Form your plan of care
  • Provide you with emotional support and guidance through the TAVR experience
  • Act as a liaison between the medical team and you and your family

Operating Room

Even the operating room used for TAVR procedures is multidisciplinary in design. A unique surgical room known as a hybrid operating room combines the resources of a cardiac catheterization lab and an operating room, including the imaging equipment needed for minimally invasive procedures.

Structural Heart Disease

Cardiac conditions relating to the heart valves, vessels, or walls are considered to be part of structural heart disease. While some structural heart conditions are congenital (present at birth), others may develop over time through wear and tear on the heart. They also may be caused by separate disease processes.

Examples of structural heart disease include: 

If you have structural heart disease, surgical treatment is needed. Fortunately, the latest cardiac innovations are minimally invasive procedures done in the Cath Lab. Minimally invasive surgery like TAVR offers you the potential for less scarring, less blood loss, less pain, and a faster recovery. More importantly, these groundbreaking cardiac procedures give hope to patients who are not able to have conventional open-heart surgery.

smiling elderly man outside

Who May Need TAVR?

You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you:

  • Have symptoms typical of severe aortic stenosis (shortness of breath, syncope, and in some cases, evidence of congestive heart failure)
  • Have undergone a Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE), with a mean gradient > 40mmHg or jet velocity greater than 4.0m/s or initial aortic valve area of < 0.8 cm2
  • Have not been responsive to noninvasive treatments
  • Are unable to tolerate traditional (through-the-sternum) surgery
Greg Womack, Covenant Health Cardiology Patient
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I feel like they genuinely care about the patients, about your wellbeing, about your family. I consider them family now. I would 100 percent recommend them.

Greg Womack, Covenant Health Cardiology Patient

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If I was somewhere else I don’t think I would have made it, honestly. It makes you thankful every day. To know where I was at, what I couldn’t do, and what I can do now – I’m very, very thankful.

Michael Ensor, Covenant Health Cardiology Patient

Covenant Health