TAVI in Germany: Application and Advantages

Valve replacement is a complicated surgery. It is often required for people with aortic stenosis and many other pathologies. Constant shortness of breath, the ineffectiveness of many medications, and continuous fatigue are companions of such diseases. Previously, there was always one way out for such patients – a complicated open heart surgery. However, such operations are extremely risky for the elderly, and living with aortic stenosis is impossible and very dangerous. So, what is the alternative?

Indications for valve replacement surgery

First, let’s figure out the category of patients that require replacement procedures. Indications for aortic valve replacement procedure include:

  • Aortic valve defects, congenital or acquired
  • Rheumatic fever as a complication of strep throat infection
  • Endocarditis, or detected signs of disease in the heart valves
  • Aortic dissection or aneurysm
  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Valve regurgitation
  • Calcium deposition on the valve due to aging of the body

Basically, when a heart condition is at an early stage of development, it can often be corrected without surgery. When medications cannot solve the problem, surgery becomes an option of choice.

How is TAVI different?

In the case of standard valve surgery, the sternum is totally or partially dissected. The valve that has suffered degenerative changes is removed and replaced with a mechanical or biological valve using an artificial circulation. The surgical method is so advanced today that excellent long-term results are achieved. Nonetheless, there are still some risks.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is performed without sternum dissection and without artificial circulation. The former valve is not replaced but overlapped with a valve prosthesis, which is inserted through a catheter in a “twisted” form. In this case, the former heart valve is pressed against the aortic wall, and the new one is stretched in place of the old one when the catheter is withdrawn. It is fixed in a metal mesh, which is interlocked in the old valve and the aorta area. The intervention is performed on a working heart.

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The catheter is most often inserted through the inguinal artery. If the inguinal artery is too small or the aorta is severely sclerosed, the valve is inserted through the apex of the heart. In this case, a small skin incision of about 5 cm is made between the ribs in the area of the apex of the heart. This is the most accessible place to access the apex of the heart.

As a result, transcatheter aortic replacement is less complicated, more effective, and involves less risks than open heart surgery. Only a doctor can decide which heart valve surgery options are the best, most effective, and safest for a particular patient. Much depends on the individual’s health status and medical history.

Advantages of TAVI surgery

In the case of intravascular aortic valve replacement, there are no large incisions, which significantly reduces the duration of postoperative rehabilitation, relieves pain syndrome and excludes the development of complications associated with inflammation of postoperative sutures. Other important advantages of TAVI valve surgery in Germany include:

  • The ability to perform surgery in patients with high surgical risk, elderly patients, and patients with severe comorbidities
  • Short duration of surgery, reduced surgical trauma
  • No need to connect to a machine for artificial circulation and “turn off” the patient’s heart
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Low percentage of postoperative complications and rapid adaptation after discharge from the hospital

Going to Germany for heart valve treatment during a lockdown

If you’ve been diagnosed with valve pathology, Germany is the best destination for treatment. In terms of cardiac surgery techniques, German hospitals are considered the leading ones in the world. With that said, there is still a question of lockdown restrictions when it comes to traveling to Germany for treatment. However, these kinds of difficulties can as well be resolved.

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Booking Health offers to organize the treatment in Germany for you. You do not need to worry about anything; the company will deal with all of the presenting issues, from getting a visa to enter Germany up to providing a personal interpreter if you need one and other helpful services.

To find out more information about TAVI valve surgery in Germany or start the treatment, fill in the request form on the Booking Health website.

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