Is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) safer for everyone?

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Is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) safer for everyone?

Submitted by Dr T on May 6, 2012 – 9:28am

Question: 
Hello,What would be the clinical pathway for assessing patients with severe AS until becoming eligible for TAVI? If not eligible, what are the options available otherwise? 

TAVI is a procedure developed for patients with severe aortic valve disease who are not a candidate for “normal” aortic valve repair/replacement. As such, while a good option for those very high risk patients, it is NOT for most others. A standard repair or replacement is a MUCH safer alternative for everyone else. Potential (otherwise inoperable) TAVI patients are judged to have a <50% survival chance w/o an intervention. As such, it is a great option, even if the risk is usually MUCH higher than with a standard valve operation in healthier patients.
As I wrote at the time, if TAVI usage is expanded to lower risk candidates, complications such as Aortic Regurgitation (AR, or leaking valve) and stroke, much more common with TAVI, will prove disastrous! There are no options left for someone who is not even a candidate for TAVI.
I have written about this (mainly for doctors etc.):

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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