How is a transcatheter aortic heart valve used?

The Edwards Sapien transcatheter aortic heart valve integrates balloon-expandable stent technology with a replacement tissue heart valve.

During the procedure, a catheter is advanced to the aortic valve, either through the femoral artery or through a small chest incision and through the left ventricle. Once the catheter is in place, a tissue valve with metal stent scaffolding is positioned and deployed. Fluoroscopic guidance provides indirect visualization. The force of the expanding stent anchors the new valve in place, completely avoiding the need for open-heart surgery.
Brian D. Mott, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
A transcatheter aortic heart valve is used in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are deemed too high risk to safely undergo tradition open heart surgery with valve replacement. There are several heart centers in the US currently implanting these devices in patients.

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