Meet Rick

As an army doctor, cardiac surgeon, and lead guitarist, Rick served his country and fellow man, understanding the importance of trusting teams. See why he trusted his Heart Valve Team and TAVR by Edwards to fix his heart valve failure.

Polaroid of Rick, a real TAVR patient, playing the guitar

Is medication an effective treatment?1,2

Medication alone will not treat severe aortic stenosis, also known as heart valve failure. While your doctor may prescribe medication at first to control your symptoms, it will continue to get worse until you replace your aortic valve.

Take action with TAVR


Heart valve failure may sound scary, but it's treatable, and you should know your options.

TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) and SAVR (surgical aortic valve replacement), also called open heart surgery, are both ways to replace your heart valve. They reduce your risk of death from heart valve failure and provide relief from your symptoms. They each have their own key differences.

TAVR is not open heart surgery

TAVR does not involve opening the chest. The average TAVR procedure takes about 1 hour. Open heart surgery, by comparison, lasts about 4 hours. Most TAVR patients return home the next day and have a short recovery time, getting them back to everyday activities quickly. TAVR may also be used for patients at high risk for surgery and who need another valve procedure (valve-in-valve).*1,3-5

SAPIEN 3 TAVR is proven superior to surgery in low-risk patients at 1 year—and proven equally effective at 5 years.*6,7

One hour icon

On average, the TAVR procedure lasts about 1 hour, vs 4 hours with open heart surgery.3


The PARTNER 3 Trial, SAPIEN 3 TAVR proven superior to surgery on the primary endpoint of all-cause death, all stroke, and re-hospitalization (valve-related or procedure-related and including heart failure) at one year, and multiple pre-specified secondary endpoints in low risk patients.

PARTNER 3 Trial 5-Year Results in low-risk patients – Low rates of cardiovascular mortality through five years (5.5% SAPIEN 3 TAVR to 5.1% SAVR). Low rates of all-cause mortality through five years (10.1% SAPIEN 3 TAVR vs. 8.2% with SAVR). Low rates of disabling stroke through five years (2.9% SAPIEN 3 TAVR to 2.7% SAVR). Low rates of stroke through five years (5.8% SAPIEN 3 TAVR vs. 6.4% SAVR). Lower rates of rehospitalization with SAPIEN 3 TAVR through five years (13.7% vs. 17.4%).

Comparing TAVR and Open Heart Surgery


The most serious risks of TAVR include death, stroke, serious damage to the arteries, or serious bleeding.

Ken shares his knowledge on TAVR vs SAVR

After having both open heart surgery and TAVR, Ken wants people to know about his experience.

Watch video

Here’s what to know about open heart surgery

  • Typically, during open heart surgery, the surgeon will make an incision (cut) across the full length of your chest to access your valve
  • Sometimes open heart surgeries can be performed through smaller incisions (called minimal incision valve surgery)11
  • Your old aortic valve will be taken out and replaced with a new one
  • The new valve can be either a mechanical valve or a bioprosthetic valve
  • Talk to your doctor about questions you may have about open heart surgery and its associated risks

You have options and a voice

Heart valve failure may be deadly, but it's fixable. All patients who have symptoms of heart valve failure should ask their Heart Valve Team if TAVR is right for them.2,12 Find one here.

Not all TAVR valves are the same

See why receiving a TAVR valve by Edwards matters.

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References: 1.American Heart Association. Newer heart valve surgery options. Accessed March 7, 2024. 2.American Heart Association. Managing aortic stenosis symptoms. Accessed March 7, 2024. 3.Mack MJ, Leon MB, Thourani VH, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement with a balloon-expandable valve in low-risk patients [supplementary appendix]. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(18):1695-1705. 4.Cleveland Clinic. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Accessed March 7, 2024. 5.Otto CM, Nishimura RA, Bonow RO, et al. 2020 ACC/AHA guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2021;143(5):e72-e227. 6.Mack MJ, Leon MB, Thourani VH, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement with a balloon-expandable valve in low-risk patients. N Engl J Med. 2019;380(18):1695-1705. 7.Mack MJ, Leon MB, Thourani VH, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement in low-risk patients at five years. N Engl J Med. 2023;389(21):1949-1960. 8.Baron SJ, Magnuson EA, Lu M, et al. Health status after transcatheter versus surgical aortic valve replacement in low-risk patients with aortic stenosis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019;74(23):2833-2842. 9.Otto CM. Timing of aortic valve surgery. Heart. 2000;84(2):211-218. 10.Leon MB, Mack MJ, Hahn RT, et al. Outcomes 2 years after transcatheter aortic valve replacement in patients at low surgical risk. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021;77(9):1149-1161. 11.Eisenhower Health. What are the treatment options for severe aortic stenosis? Accessed March 8, 2024. 12.Malaisrie SC, McDonald E, Kruse J, et al. Mortality while waiting for aortic valve replacement. Ann Thorac Surg. 2014;98(5):1564-1571.

Patients and/or clinicians quoted on this website have received compensation from Edwards Lifesciences.