Aortic stenosis: TAVI
As we saw on “What is the treatment for aortic stenosis?”, when the narrowing of this valve reaches a certain level of severity and manifestations (signs and symptoms), it may be necessary to correct the valve problem.
Over the years, there is a technique which is being increasingly extended, and it is considered a revolution within the aortic stenosis therapeutic approach: TAVI.
What does TAVI mean?
This proceeding is also known as TAVI or TAVR: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.
What is it for?
As its name suggests, it is a technique used to implant an aortic valve without sectioning the sternum (most of the times) nor stopping the heart, avoiding the necessity of extracorporeal circulation.
Instead of the traditional technique (“open heart surgery”), TAVI uses other heart routes (through needle or minor cuts) that we will discuss in more depth and involves less aggressivity and, generally, a shorter recovery process.
It cannot be considered that one technique to treat the aortic stenosis is better than the other as they have their own indications. The most important thing is to see which is the most proper technique for each case, individualising its application as suggested by Dr. Gregorio Marañón:
“There are no illnesses but ill people”