Your doctor may recommend using catheters, or thin, hollow tubes, to fix heart valve disease. This highly effective method is less invasive than open-chest surgery. Our team of heart specialists has the most experience in Sacramento using transcatheter methods to treat heart valve disease.

Benefits of transcatheter heart procedures

During transcatheter procedures, a doctor accesses your heart using a catheter. The doctor inserts the catheter into a blood vessel, typically in the leg. Because the chest is not surgically opened you benefit from:

  • Decreased blood loss
  • Faster recovery
  • Less pain

  • Lower infection risk
  • Minimal scarring
  • Shorter hospital stay

Why choose UC Davis Health for transcatheter heart procedures

Interventional cardiologists specialize in catheter-based heart procedures. Our interventional cardiologists are world renowned. We offer:

  • Expertise: Our doctors performed Sacramento’s first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in 2012. Since then, we have performed more than 1,000 procedures — making us the area’s most experienced TAVR team. This experience places you in exceptionally capable hands.
  • Stroke prevention: A transcatheter heart procedure can dislodge particles called embolic debris. Although rare, these particles may enter the bloodstream increasing stroke risk. We are the only center in Sacramento using the Sentinel™ Cerebral Protection System.
  • Care focused on you: We make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your treatment plan. Before your procedure, you participate in a patient education program. Our dedicated nurses help you understand what to expect for the procedure and recovery. We also maximize your time at our TAVR Clinic by scheduling tests and consultations on the same day.
  • Experienced cardiac rehab team: We were the first medical center in Sacramento to have a Cardiac Rehab Program. Our caring experts help you regain strength and stamina after a heart procedure.

TAVR and other transcatheter heart valve disease treatments

Our team’s involvement in cardiovascular clinical trials gives us deep expertise in catheter-based treatments. As a result, we offer the most catheter-based heart procedures in the region. These procedures include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR)
  • Transcatheter tricuspid valve repair (TTVR)
  • Transcatheter valve-in-valve
  • MitraClip™
  • Paravalvular leak closure
  • Percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty

Your doctor may recommend TAVR if you have aortic stenosis. This serious condition causes the aortic valve to stiffen and restrict blood flow.

During TAVR, your doctor: in the groin or chest to the heart

  1. Inserts an expandable replacement valve through the catheter
  2. Expands the replacement valve, which pushes away and takes the place of the diseased aortic valve

A diseased mitral valve can cause regurgitation, or blood leakage back into the heart. We are the only medical center in Sacramento using the Tendyne™ Mitral Valve System to treat mitral valve regurgitation.  Tendyne is the only replacement mitral valve that doctors can move or retrieve to ensure precise placement.

We are among a select few medical centers nationwide offering this investigational TMVR procedure. You will receive treatment from our expert team of cardiologists. During TMVR, your doctor:

  1. Inserts a catheter through a small incision at the tip of the heart
  2. Moves the Tendyne™ Mitral Valve System through the catheter to the heart

Expands the replacement valve, moving aside and replacing the leaky mitral valve

We are the only center in Northern California participating in a clinical trial for TriClip™. This device treats tricuspid regurgitation.

The tricuspid valve moves blood from the heart’s right upper chamber (atrium) into the right bottom chamber (ventricle). Regurgitation occurs when blood flows backward into the atrium.

The steps for TTVR are like TAVR. Your doctor places the TriClip onto the tricuspid valve to stop the leak.

Heart valve replacements can wear out over time. If you had open-chest heart valve surgery, you may be able to avoid another invasive procedure. Our team has extensive experience performing transcatheter valve-in-valve procedures.

Steps for this procedure are like TAVR. We fix all types of previously replaced valves, including:

  • Aortic
  • Mitral
  • Pulmonary
  • Tricuspid

This clip device stops regurgitation (a backflow of blood) into the mitral valve. A healthy mitral valve moves blood from the heart’s left upper chamber (atrium) into the left bottom chamber (ventricle).

Mitral valve repair or replacement typically takes place through open-chest surgery. But if age or health problems make open surgery too risky for you, MitraClip may be a good alternative.

You receive excellent care from Northern California’s most experienced MitraClip team. We were the region’s first medical center to use this device in clinical trials and after FDA approval. Our experience performing close to 100 procedures every year means the best results for you.

To implant the device, your doctor:

  1. Threads a catheter to the heart via a blood vessel in the groin or chest
  2. Moves the MitraClip through the catheter until it reaches the heart
  3. Closes leaky valve leaflets by clipping the device onto the mitral heart valve

Sometimes a gap develops between the heart’s natural tissue and a replacement valve. This problem allows blood to flow back into the heart.

To stop this leak, your doctor:

  1. Places a catheter into a blood vessel in the leg
  2. Threads a mesh vascular plug called an occluder through the catheter
  3. Places the occluder at the gap to close it off

We are the only medical center in Northern California offering percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty for mitral valve stenosis. This narrowing of the mitral valve opening slows blood flow.

Some infants are born with this condition. More often, rheumatic fever causes mitral valve stenosis. Rheumatic fever is more prevalent in people who grew up outside of the United States. It develops when infections like strep throat or scarlet fever go untreated.

To perform this procedure, your doctor:

  1. Eases a catheter with a small, deflated balloon on the tip through an artery or vein in the leg
  2. Gradually inflates the balloon to expand the valve opening
  3. Deflates the balloon
  4. Removes the catheter and balloon

Contact us

For appointments, please call 1-800-2-UC-DAVIS (1-800-282-3284) or connect with one of our heart and vascular specialists.