Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)


Heart disease claims the lives of 600,000 individuals annually, the largest health threat for men and women in America. For high risk or inoperable patients, as well as those individuals with a diagnosis of a symptomatic aortic stenosis, there is new hope through a cutting-edge., minimally invasive surgical procedure called Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). 

Simply put, this procedure involves mounting a bioprosthetic valve on a balloon catheter, which is delivered via one of three different access sites to the patient’s stenotic aortic valve and deployed inside the native valve, pushing the patient’s own valve leaflets to the side. The end result is a fully functioning bioprosthetic aortic valve, making it significantly easier for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Amazingly this procedure is performed on a beating heart, unlike traditional surgical aortic valve replacement, which involves stopping the heart from beating (circulatory arrest) and using a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. This procedure is currently approved by the FDA for patients who are at high risk or inoperable candidates for traditional surgical aortic valve replacement, placing them at very high risk for mortality over the next one or two years. This procedure provides new hope and treatment options for patients where none existed previously.

COR surgeon and interventional cardiologist  SALMAN M. AZAM, MD is a true pioneer and leading surgeon in this life saving technique. Please click here to read about Dr. Azam’s background. Dr. Azam and the Torrance Memorial Medical Center TAVR team have reached a groundbreaking milestone of 100 cases, the highest volume in the South Bay. 

The procedure is conducted in Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s new state-of-the art Hybrid Operating Room located in the Lundquist Tower. The Hybrid OR features sophisticated imaging systems for catheter-based procedures, but it also meets the sterility standards and has the equipment of a traditional operating room. This enables providers to perform high-risk, minimally invasive procedures and switch to open surgery without moving the patient if a dire complication arises.