The FDA approves transcatheter aortic valve replacement to treat patients who are of intermediate risk from surgery. TAVR had been limited to high-risk, inoperable patients.
When aortic valve stenosis gets to the point where a replacement valve is necessary, patients usually must undergo open heart surgery to receive a new valve. Its an invasive procedure that comes with a long recovery and the potential complications associated with any surgery. Several years ago, a new option emerged for people too frail or sick for surgery, or who were considered high risk for open-heart surgery. It is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), and it eliminates the need for open surgery.