How TAVR WorksGuided by X-ray images, a catheter is inserted into the femoral artery in the upper thigh. With the heart still beating, a collapsible heart valve inside the catheter is guided into the chest. This valve, the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve, is only about the diameter of a #2 pencil.
Once inside, the replacement valve is expanded, pushing aside the damaged valve. The replacement valve is then secured into place, where it begins to function immediately.
The catheter is then removed. Because the procedure is minimally invasive and requires virtually no cutting, most patients can expect an in-hospital recovery time of three days or less.