Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Q: When was TAVR approved?
A: In November 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Edwards SAPIEN aortic valve replacement device for use in treating patients with severe native aortic valve stenosis who have been determined by a cardiac surgeon to be inoperable for open (conventional surgery) aortic valve replacement, and in whom co-existing illnesses would not preclude the expected benefit from correction of the aortic stenosis.

Q: Does Medicare/Medicaid cover TAVR?
A: Yes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved the TAVR procedure for coverage on May 1, 2012.

Q: What are the risks with the TAVR procedure?
A: There are still risks associated with TAVR, as with surgical aortic valve replacement. These risks should be taken into consideration when discussing the TAVR procedure with your cardiologist.

Q: How long does the TAVR procedure take?
A: The average time required to perform the procedure is 4 to 5 hours.

Q: How long does it take to recover after having the procedure?
A: Recovery time averages from one to two weeks.

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