The answer to this question often incorporates several factors, such as the following:
- Am I restricted by my health insurance to a specific hospital?
- Does the hospital offer both TAVR and SAVR or only SAVR?
- There are many excellent cardiac surgery programs that offer only SAVR, although the trend is to offer both treatments. TAVR has been restricted to hospitals and physicians meeting certain requirements, including having a SAVR program. Use this link to find a hospital that performs TAVR.
- How many SAVR and TAVR procedures per year does the hospital or center perform?
- How many SAVR and TAVR procedures per year does your surgeon perform?
- How long has your surgeon been performing these treatments?
- Do I need an unusual or complicated type of SAVR or TAVR? If so, you may need to consider a hospital and physicians who have unique experience, certain advanced technologies, and access to investigative technologies.
- How is the nursing care in the hospital?
- Does the hospital have an established post-operative rehabilitation program?
- Am I concerned about costs and burdens for my family associated with travelling to the hospital where I have my valve replaced?
Expected outcomes vary across hospitals and depend to some extent on the experience and skills of the individual valve teams at those hospitals. The first questions you can easily ask are how long have you been doing these treatments and how many patients have undergone TAVR and SAVR at this hospital?