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TAVR Program

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

For information or to schedule an appointment

Sage Way, RN

406-435-TAVR (8287)
1-800-332-7156, ext. 8287

Email TAVR Program Coordinator

If you have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) may be an alternative for you.

Aortic valve stenosis is a serious condition. Severe aortic stenosis is a narrowing of your aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow. Those who have aortic valve stenosis may feel chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath and have difficulty exerting themselves, particularly when exercising.

Without aortic valve replacement, patients with severe aortic valve stenosis have high mortality and a short life expectancy once symptoms develop. The transcatheter heart valve is delivered via a catheter-based approach typically without incision and without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. This offers patients a therapeutic option that is less invasive while performing just as well as open heart surgery.

Not all patients are well suited for TAVR. Deciding between TAVR and surgical options like open heart surgery or other minimally invasive valve surgeries requires an experienced heart team evaluating you. Our goal is to offer you a personalized approach, selecting the procedure that we believe is best suited for you with the best possible outcome.

Experienced Heart Team

At Billings Clinic, our heart team takes a rigorous approach to patient care.

  • Our TAVR program is built on a foundation of multi-disciplinary experience.
  • Billings Clinic has the highest volume TAVR program in the region, since starting the program in May 2016.
  • Our procedural team consists of two heart surgeons, two interventional cardiologists and echo specialists.
  • We have done over 12,000 open heart operations.
  • Our interventional team performs more than 2,500 interventional heart procedures every year.
  • Our physicians have been involved with transcatheter technology from the initial investigations in the United States with the latest valve models.

Together with our outstanding valve clinic coordinators, our colleagues from our cardiovascular division, anesthesiologists and radiologists, we are striving to offer the latest leading edge therapy to our patients and communities.

TAVR Procedure Videos

Four-video playlist includes: Path to Treatment, Talking to Your Doctor About Severe Aortic Stenosis, Treatment Options, How Does TAVR Work. For additional information about aortic valve stenosis and TAVR you visit

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) general information video playlist

Sentinel® Cerebral Protection System - Active Stroke Prevention During TAVR

There are risks associated with TAVR along with surgical aortic valve replacement. One in ten TAVR patients may experience a stroke. During the TAVR procedure, calcium deposits from the heart valve or tissue can be dislodged and may travel to the brain which can create a stroke. However, there is now a procedure performed during TAVR that can help to protect patients from the the risk of stroke.

Billings Clinic is one of the first health care organizations in the country to introduce new technology shown to help protect patients from the risk of stroke during TAVR. The Sentinel Cerebral Protection System captures and removes debris in TAVR patients before it can reach the brain. The Sentinel filters blood traveling through the arteries to the brain, and is removed at the end of the procedure. In clinical studies the system has been shown to significantly reduce the size and number of brain lesions, reducing the risk of neurological damage after the procedure.  For more in-depth information, watch one of our Sentinal procedure videos below or learn more about the new Sentinel Cerebral Protection System website.

Sentinel Procedure Videos

Procedure Animation

Sentinel Cerebral Protection System


Protecting your heart during the TAVR procedure

Sentinel Cerebral Protection System


TAVR Approval by the FDA

In November 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the SAPIEN Transcatheter Heart Valve for the treatment of patients with severe native aortic valve stenosis who have been:

  • determined by a cardiac surgeon to be inoperable for open aortic valve replacement
  • and in whom existing co-morbidities would not preclude the expected benefit from correction of the aortic stenosis

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved it for coverage in May 2012. In August 2016, the FDA approved the SAPIEN Transcatheter Valve for patients who are deemed at an intermediate risk for surgery.

How long have TAVR procedures been performed?

The first successful TAVR procedure was performed in France on April 16, 2002 by Dr. Alain Cribier. The TAVR has been commercially available in Europe since 2007 and in the United States since 2011.

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What is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)?

A message from our heart valve team.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)


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