Aortic stenosis is a common form of heart valve disease in which the aortic valve - the main valve through which the heart pumps blood to the body, becomes narrowed and restricted, obstructing the flow of blood. This leads to symptoms of fatigue, breathlessness, chest pain, light-headedness, and blackouts. If left untreated, aortic stenosis can be fatal. Indeed, this condition has an outlook worse than most cancers. Fortunately, aortic stenosis can be safely and effectively treated by a procedure to replace the narrowed valve, either by open-heart surgery (surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), or by a much less invasive keyhole technique known as trans-catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). However, it is vital that patients are diagnosed and treated rapidly. This is one of the key goals of the Valve for Life programme.
TAVI is a revolutionary, minimally invasive treatment for aortic stenosis (narrowing of the main valve through which the heart pumps to the body), which allows the aortic valve to be replaced without the need for open-heart surgery. Since it was performed in the UK in 2007, TAVI has grown exponentially to become a routine treatment for millions of patients across the world. TAVI is performed under local anaesthetic, and patients can usually be discharged just one or two days after the procedure. The Valve for Life programme aims to improve access to TAVI across the NHS, so that patients can be treated quickly and efficiently, and with equity of access in all parts of the United Kingdom. Elsewhere on this website you can find more detailed information about the TAVI procedure, hear about the experiences of patients who have undergone TAVI, and learn more about the Valve for Life project.
TAVI Patient Information Video