Structural Heart Clinic
The Iowa Clinic Structural Heart Clinic at UnityPoint bring our experts in Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery together to seamlessly coordinate testing and evaluation for patients with complex valve disorders. A Structural Heart Clinic Coordinator will be with you throughout the entire process. This collaborative approach allows the team to establish an individualized treatment plan specific to you and your circumstances. In some cases, this may include the fairly new minimally invasive TAVR procedure.
What is TAVR?
TAVR is a fairly new, FDA approved, minimally invasive surgical procedure approved for people with symptomatic aortic stenosis who are considered a moderate or high-risk patient for standard valve replacement surgery.
Similar to a stent placed in an artery, the TAVR approach delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter. Once the valve is expanded, it pushes the old valve out of the way and the tissue in the replacement valve takes over the job regulating blood flow.
How is TAVR different from standard valve replacement?
Usually, valve replacement requires an open-heart procedure in which the chest is surgically separated (open) for the procedure. The TAVR procedure can be done through very small openings that leave all the chest bones in place.
A TAVR procedure is not without risks, but it provides beneficial treatment options to people who may not have been candidates for them a few years ago while also providing the added bonus of a faster recovery in most cases. A patient's experience with a TAVR procedure may be comparable to a balloon treatment (balloon angioplasty) or even an angiogram in terms of downtime and recovery, and will likely require a shorter hospital stay (average 1-5 days).
Through the collaborative effort of our cardiologists, surgeons, and coordinator, the team can provide high-quality patient care while determining the candidates appropriate for surgery or a minimally invasive intervention, such as TAVR.
For more information on TAVR or to refer to the Structural Heart Clinic, please contact one of our Structural Heart Clinic Coordinators:
Allyson Glaser, RN
Jessica McLean, RN-BC, BSN