Heart & Vascular

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

At Carilion Clinic we're honored to be the first and only hospital in western Virginia able to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis (hardening of the aortic valve) with an effective, potentially life-saving new therapy, Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). Sometimes called Trans-catheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI), this is a ground-breaking treatment for patients with aortic valves that do not open properly, a condition that is known as severe aortic stenosis.

TAVR is a minimally invasive, first-of-its-kind, artificial heart valve replacement procedure. It requires no major surgery, making it a treatment option for many patients who are not candidates for traditional open heart surgery or for whom surgery would be especially risky.

For the thousands of Americans diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis each year who are unable to have traditional valve replacement surgery, TAVR procedure has the potential to not only improve the quality of life but to extend it.

After a patient has been evaluated in the Structural Heart and Valve Center by our team of physicians and providers, our multidisciplinary team meets to review each case individually to make a care plan and schedule the procedure.

Performed in our hybrid operating room, TAVR treatment essentially replaces a severely calcified heart valve with an artificial one. It requires no incision because the valve is sent to the heart via a catheter. There are currently three approaches to this surgery.

Currently, we are using the Edwards SAPIEN valve and the Medtronic CoreValve valve. The CoreValve has a much smaller delivery system, which has broadened our range of patients who can be treated less invasively with the TAVR procedure.

Multimedia Gallery


Medtronic’s CoreValve can be inserted into an artery (usually through the leg) and then guided to the site of the narrowed valve in the heart.

Video: Timothy Ball, M.D. talks about Carilion Clinic's hybrid OR.

Video: What is TAVR?

Aortic Stenosis

The Edwards SAPIEN transcatheter heart valve is a biological (made from animal tissue) valve that replaces your aortic valve. The TAVI procedure allows the new valve to be inserted while your heart is still beating.

The three approaches of TAVR: Transfemoral, Transapical and Transaortic

The three approaches of TAVR: Transfemoral, Transapical and Transaortic.


Transfemoral transcatheter

This is the more commonly used approach in which the valve is inserted through an artery in the groin.

Transapical transcatheter

For patients who may not have adequate vascular access to accommodate during the transfemoral approach, the valve can be delivered through the apex of the heart by making a small incision between the ribs.

Transaortic (also called direct aortic)

This approach is also for patients who may not have adequate vascular access to accommodate a transfemoral approach. The valve can be delivered directly into the diseased aortic valve through a small incision made on the sternum.

All approaches are a minimally invasive procedure and similar to balloon angioplasty and stent placement treatments.

For more information on how TAVR can treat aortic stenosis, visit NewHeartValve.com.

To find out how Carilion Heart Valve Center can help you, or to see if you are a candidate for TAVR, please email our Care Coordinator, Sheree Emore, N.P., at heartvalvecenter@carilionclinic.org, or call 540-266-6520.

Find out the characteristics of a TAVR candidate.