Cardiovascular Services

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

What is transcatheter aortic valve replacement? 

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a minimally invasive surgery to fix a damaged heart valve without removing it. TAVR is a valuable option for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for open-heart surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR).

MaineHealth Maine Medical Center was the first hospital in the state to perform the TAVR procedure. Our highly-experienced team of imaging cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons work together to evaluate patients for either surgical aortic valve replacement, TAVR, or medical therapy. 

What happens during a TAVR procedure?

During a TAVR procedure, a replacement heart valve is inserted into the damaged or narrowed valve through a catheter. The new valve has a balloon inside. When the balloon is inflated, it opens up the damaged valve to make room for the new valve. When the balloon is inflated, the new valve is wedged inside the old valve. The new, fully-functioning valve takes over for the old valve and blood flow through the heart and body is improved. 

Next Steps for Patients

While some patients are candidates for self-referral to our cardiovascular specialists, we recommend that you ask your primary care physician for help with the process.

Provider Referrals

If you are a provider who would like to refer a patient for MaineHealth cardiac valve services, please review our clinical guidelines and call 207-773-8161.