Meet James

As an accomplished mountaineer and flight nurse, James has learned some chances are worth taking. But when it came to his failing heart valve, he wasn't about to chance it. See how TAVR by Edwards put him back in action.


Any procedure can feel overwhelming. Let's talk about what to expect before, during, and after TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement).

In the time leading up to your TAVR procedure, your doctor will give you some specific instructions to follow. You and your doctor should also discuss:1

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How much you can exercise leading up to your procedure

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Which medications you should and should not take leading up to your procedure

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Your dental health and how to optimize your oral health. Oral bacteria can cause infection of the valve. It’s important to visit your dentist before your procedure

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Dietary recommendations, including when you should stop eating and drinking before your procedure

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A recovery plan that includes how long you’ll stay at the hospital and who will take you home, stay with you, and help you prepare meals

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Any questions you might have about TAVR. Now’s the time to ask

On the day of your procedure, your TAVR Specialist will decide what type of anesthesia is best for you. You may be asleep or awake and medicated while your valve is replaced.

A step-by-step look at your TAVR procedure

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Most commonly, the new valve is delivered through a small incision, made in the leg near your groin. The TAVR Specialist then inserts a short, hollow tube called a sheath into your femoral artery (a large blood vessel in the leg).

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The new valve is placed on a delivery device with a balloon on the end. It's made small enough to fit through the sheath. The valve is then guided through the sheath up to the heart.

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The new valve is then set inside your old valve. The balloon inflates and the new valve expands and pushes aside the leaflets (or flaps) of your diseased valve. Once the valve is in place, the balloon is deflated and removed.

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The new valve will open and close as a normal aortic valve should. Your TAVR Specialist will make sure your new valve is working properly before closing the incision in your groin.

Most people are back on their feet soon after the procedure. TAVR can get you back to everyday activities in as little as a month.2

Here’s what to expect the day of and in the weeks after your TAVR procedure. Most patients:

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Are up and walking soon after their procedure

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Have a short recovery time and go home the next day3

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Get back to being themselves in about 30 days2

The most serious risks of TAVR include death, stroke, serious damage to the arteries, or serious bleeding.

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Before you leave the hospital

Your TAVR Specialist, a member of your Heart Valve Team who specializes in TAVR procedures, can provide more information on what your TAVR recovery time may be like and what to expect after your procedure.

Before you or your loved one leaves the hospital, make sure to ask specific questions about eating, sleeping, activity level, medications, and follow-up appointments.

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Recovery in the days and weeks after your TAVR procedure

Everyone’s TAVR experience is different. Follow your Heart Valve Team’s instructions.

You will need to take some steps to help your incision site heal.

You may have aches and pains, which is a normal part of the healing process. Your TAVR Specialist may prescribe medication to help.

Make sure you continue your breathing and coughing exercises to keep your lungs clear to help prevent complications.

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After your TAVR procedure: follow-up care

Your TAVR Specialist will provide specific follow-up care instructions for you, which may include cardiac care rehabilitation.

They will let you know if you need this extra support after your TAVR procedure.

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Over 98% of TAVR recipients did not require a valve reintervention after 10 years of receiving their valve*5

*Based on Medicare claims data which may underestimate the actual event rate.5

Join Heart Valve Strong

Heart valve failure is serious. Having the right tools and resources will help you speak up and take action before things get worse.1,6

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Real patients share their stories

Hear real patients share their experiences with heart valve failure—and what helped them choose TAVR.

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References: 1.Otto CM, Nishimura RA, Bonow RO, et al. 2020 ACC/AHA guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2021;143(5):e72-e227. 2.Mack MJ, Leon MB, Thourani VH, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement with a balloon-expandable valve in low-risk patients. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(18):1695-1705. 3.Cleveland Clinic. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Accessed March 8, 2024. 4.American Heart Association. Newer heart valve surgery options. Accessed March 8, 2024. 5.Baron SJ, Ryan MP, Chikermane SG, et al. Long-term risk of reintervention after transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Am Heart J. 2024;267:44-51. 6.Otto CM. Timing of aortic valve surgery. Heart. 2000;84(2):211-218.

Patients and/or clinicians quoted on this website have received compensation from Edwards Lifesciences.