Edwards SAPIEN® Valve

What is it?

Some patients who suffer from severe aortic stenosis are not candidates for open-chest surgery. This may be because of their age, history of heart disease, or other heart issues. Patients like these need alternative, less invasive treatments for their aortic stenosis, like a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) with the recently FDA approved Edwards SAPIEN® Valve. TAVR is a procedure that allows a diseased aortic valve to be replaced with a catether-based delivery system, rather than open-chest surgery.

How does it work?

1. Through a small cut in the thigh, a catheter is inserted into the body into the femoral artery. Imaging helps the specialist guide the catheter through the femoral artery to the diseased aortic valve. This will be the delivery system for the new Edwards SAPIEN® valve that will replace the disease aortic valve, known as the RetroFlex 3 delivery system.

2. The new Edwards SAPIEN® valve is crimped down to the diameter of a pencil and guided through the catheter with the help of imaging until it reaches the diseased aortic valve. Here, the leaflets of the aortic valve (the flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate blood flow through the aortic valve) are sewn into a balloon-expandable stainless steel frame.

3. Once it reaches the diseased aortic valve, the new Edwards SAPIEN® valve is expanded with a balloon, allowing blood to flow through the aortic valve naturally.

Without an aortic valve replacement, 50 percent of patients will not survive more than an average of two years after symptoms begin. By collaborating with primary care physicians and other specialists, St.Vincent Heart Center cardiologists and surgeons are able to determine if a TAVR procedure is right for each patient. In many cases, TAVR offers a new treatment solution for patients with severe aortic stenosis who have struggled with other treatment options.

Talk to your doctor to find out if a TAVR procedure may be right for you, or call 317-338-8258 (VALV) to schedule an appointment.

Physicians at St.Vincent Heart Center Who Perform the TAVR Procedure

 

Gregory Elsner, MD, FACC
David Heimansohn, MD, FACS
James Hermiller, MD, FACC
Sina Moainie, MD