First facility to perform TAVR in Citrus County

Traditional open-heart aortic valve replacement surgery has long been the gold standard treatment for severe aortic valve stenosis. Now there is an alternative transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Our highly skilled team is proud the Heart and Vascular Center at Citrus Memorial is the only facility in the county to perform this procedure. TAVR is a solution for patients who are not candidates for open-chest surgery because of age, history of heart disease, frailty or other health issues.

To learn more about TAVR, or find out if you're a candidate for the procedure, you can request a referral from your doctor, call (352) 560-6200 or email: CMH.StructuralHeart@HCAhealthcare.com.

What is aortic valve stenosis?

When the aortic valve of the heart fails to properly open and restricts blood flow, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the narrowed valve. This is known as aortic stenosis and can lead to eventual heart failure.

In elderly patients, severe symptomatic aortic stenosis is often caused by the buildup of calcium (mineral deposits) on the aortic valve’s leaflets. These are flaps of tissue that open and close to regulate the one-way flow of blood through the aortic valve.

This buildup impairs the aortic valve’s ability to fully open and close. The narrowed valve allows less oxygen-rich blood to flow from the lungs to the brain and body. This may cause symptoms, which include:

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain (angina), pressure or tightness
  • Decline in activity level or reduced ability to do normal activities requiring mild exertion
  • Heart failure
  • Heart murmur
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Palpitations or a feeling of heavy, pounding or noticeable heartbeats

What is TAVR?

TAVR relieves the often debilitating symptoms associated with severe symptomatic native aortic valve stenosis.

During this procedure, our specially trained TAVR team replaces a diseased aortic heart valve. We do this without opening the chest. Instead, we use a catheter to implant an expandable balloon valve into the heart.

TAVR heart surgery is not an appropriate option for all patients with severe aortic stenosis. For patients with co-existing medical conditions, the risks of TAVR may outweigh its benefits.

Our team evaluates each candidate to determine if this procedure will be the best treatment for the patient's specific health condition.

TAVR vs. traditional open-heart surgery

TAVR and traditional open-heart surgery have many differences, primarily that TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure. This means smaller incisions and less scarring, pain and recovery time for patients.

Other major ways in which TAVR differs include:

  • It is a closed chest treatment
  • It takes place while the patient's heart is still beating
  • It eliminates the need for heart/lung machine
  • It doesn't require stopping the heart