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Valve replacement surgery is the replacement of one or more of the heart valves with either an artificial heart valve or a bioprosthesis (homograft from human tissue or xenograft e.g. from pig). It is an alternative to valve repair.
There are four procedures
- Aortic valve replacement
- Mitral valve replacement
- Tricuspid valve replacement
- Pulmonary valve replacement
Current aortic valve replacement approaches include open heart surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) and minimally invasive, catheter-based (percutaneous) aortic valve replacement.
Catheter replacement of the aortic valve (called transaortic valve replacement or implementation [TAVR or TAVI]) is a minimally invasive option for those suffering from aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is commonly performed by guiding a catheter from the groin to the narrowed valve via the aorta using realtime x-ray technology. A metal stent containing a valve is then deployed using a balloon to press the stent into the valve in effect opening the stenosed (or narrowed) valve and lodging the stent in place. The procedure was first approved in the United States in November of 2011  as an alternative for patients deemed a poor candidate for open approach replacement; however, TAVR has been successfully implemented into practice in other countries prior to 2011.
- "FDA-approved transcatheter approach offers life-extending valve replacement for inoperable patients". Stanford School of Medicine. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- ValveReplacement.org An online support forum.