Barely 24 hours after TAVR procedure, Jim Ackerman went home from Froedtert Hospital. Two days later, the Muskego resident, 62, resumed his job as a tree salesman. Read Jim's story.

TAVR offers patients with aortic valve disease a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery. Individuals with scarring from other surgeries, elderly patients or patients with hardened arteries may not be suitable for open heart surgery. With TAVR, these patients have an option for valve replacement. TAVR also provides patients who have had a previous procedure to repair a diseased valve. Known as a valve-in-valve procedure, TAVR provides a minimally invasive alternative to these patients.

TAVR Procedure Steps

In most cases, the multidisciplinary TAVR team places the new valve in the heart using a small plastic tube that is inserted into an artery — most commonly, and preferably the femoral artery (known as a transfemoral approach). The new valve, called SAPIEN 3, is advanced into position using X-ray and ultrasound guidance. Once in position, the valve is deployed by inflating a balloon that expands the valve frame and pushes aside the diseased valve leaflets. The new valve sits on the inside of the patient’s diseased valve.

Protected TAVR™ with Sentinel

How the Sentinel Device Filters Stroke-Causing Debris During TAVR

During TAVR procedures, debris such as calcium or tissue can break loose, travel through the bloodstream toward the brain and potentially lead to neurological damage. The Sentinel™ Cerebral Protection System filters, captures and removes  debris and is the only FDA-cleared device that protects you against the risk of stroke during TAVR.

All patients undergoing TAVR at Froedtert Hospital are considered for Protected TAVR™ with the Sentinel device. Our team was the first in Wisconsin to use Sentinel and remains the only program in the state to perform TAVR using the Sentinel device in every eligible patient.

How the Sentinel Device Works During TAVR

We place the Sentinel Cerebral Protection System at the beginning of your TAVR procedure through a small catheter, placing two filters in the main arteries that supply blood to the brain. The device filters the blood passing through theses arteries removing debris that could potentially cause a stroke. Following TAVR, the filters and captured debris are removed from the patient via the catheter. Studies using very sensitive detection techniques have found that debris is captured almost 99% of the time.

TAVR Procedure Recovery

At Froedtert Hospital, most TAVR procedures are performed without the patient undergoing general anesthesia. Given the minimally invasive approach of TAVR and the avoidance of general anesthesia, most patients are usually walking the same day, discharged the following day and can expect an overall quicker recovery time.

Experts in TAVR Providing a Personalized Experience

You can be confident in choosing our highly experienced team of cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists who have participated in more than 1,000 TAVR procedures. 

You'll receive high-touch, personalized, concierge service designed around your needs and lifestyle — delivered by a variety of specialists skilled in treating valvular disease. This includes your consultation, where our team will arrange all necessary testing to be completed in one day. This comprehensive approach, which includes you in the decision making process, ensures that the treatment path chosen is the right choice for your particular situation.

If you would like to talk with our care team to determine if you may be a candidate for TAVR, call 414-777-7700. If you are a physician with a patient who may be a candidate for TAVR or you would like more information, call 414-805-4700.

Our cardiovascular surgery and cardiology teams have earned a distinguished three-star rating for their patient care and outcomes in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology. The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places our team among the elite for TAVR in the United States and Canada.

Recognized as High Performing by U.S. News & World Report

Froedtert Hospital is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in three adult specialties and 16 procedures and conditions, including aortic valve surgery and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).