Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), also referred to as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), is the deployment of a bioprosthesis in the aortic valve using a catheter. In contrast to traditional open-heart surgery (i.e. surgical aortic valve replacement, SAVR), the procedure is minimally invasive when performed through transfemoral access and can be performed with light sedation and without cardiopulmonary bypass. The diseased valve is not excised, and there is no need for suturing to deploy the valve. The choice of the access route depends on the shape of the arteries and the anatomy of the patient. The most common and preferred route is transfemoral (through the upper leg). Other access routes are transapical (through the wall of the heart), subclavian (beneath the collar bone), direct aortic (transaortic, through a minimally invasive surgical incision into the aorta), and transcaval (through the skin into the inferior vena cava and then into the adjoining abdominal aorta). For patients at intermediate
surgical risk, claimed benefits of TAVI compared with SAVR are decreased or similar rates of mortality, decreased or similar rates of short-term risks, and improved or similar functional benefits. Other claimed benefits are related to length of hospital stay and recovery time.