TAVI procedure

TAVI for aortic stenosis

A transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a procedure used to treat aortic stenosis.

During the procedure, a new valve is put inside the narrowed valve in your heart. This usually performed under local anaesthetic and takes 1 to 2 hours.

You'll have tests called a TAVI assessment to decide if having a TAVI is the best option for you.

After this assessment, your heart team will contact you with an appointment for your TAVI procedure.

Before your TAVI

If you are coming from home to have your TAVI, please bring:

  • all your medicines, including anything you on prescription, or that you buy from a pharmacy or shop (including alternative medicines, such as herbal remedies)
  • any clinic letters from other hospitals
  • contact details for family members or a carer
  • a list of any questions you have

There is limited space in the ward, so please do not bring too many things with you into hospital.

During a TAVI

When you arrive at the department, you will be assessed by your heart team.

The evening before, or on the morning of your procedure, you will be examined by one of the anaesthetists.

You cannot eat anything for 6 hours before your procedure. Your heart team will give you more information about this.

A catheter is a thin hollow tube. Sometimes, it isn't suitable to put a catheter into the groin. If this is the case, your heart team will explain other options.

Once the catheter reaches your heart, it is positioned in the opening of the aortic valve. If necessary, a balloon might be gently inflated to make room for the new valve.

The new artificial valve is made of a metal tube (stent) and porcine (pig) or bovine (cow) tissue. The new valve either expands by itself or is expanded using the balloon, this depends on which type of valve is used. If a balloon has been used, it is deflated before the balloon and catheter are removed.

Your heart team will close the puncture site with a device that seals the blood vessel.


After the procedure

Pain

You might feel uncomfortable at the procedure site after the TAVI procedure, but this will wear off in a few days. You will be given painkillers by the nurses looking after you, if you need them.

You might be given paracetamol when you leave hospital. If you more pain medicine, you should see your GP.

You might also have bruising or pain at your groin.

Recovering in hospital

You will be on a cardiac monitor for 1 to 2 days after the procedure, and you'll be seen every day by your heart team. The team will monitor your wound site during this time.

Depending on where you are treated, you might also have the following tests:

  • a chest X-ray
  • blood tests
  • an electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • a transthoracic echocardiogram

Most people can leave hospital (be discharged) on the first or second day after the TAVI procedure. 

However, you might need to stay in hospital for longer.

Leaving hospital after your TAVI

You must have a responsible adult to help you get home. You can travel by car, but only as a passenger. Do not drive yourself home.

If you're thinking of using public transport, please talk to your heart team before your procedure so you can plan this safely.

Resource number: 5108/VER1
Last review date: November 2020
Next review date: November 2023

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about your TAVI procedure, please contact your heart team.

Phone 020 7188 1093

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Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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