ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A less invasive option for open heart surgery is becoming available to more patients.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) is the non-surgical option for replacing a failing or too narrow heart valve. SLU Care cardiac surgeon Dr. Richard Lee at SSM Health SLU Hospital says the surgery has now been approved for people at intermediate risk for aortic valve replacement.

“This means people that are not just high risk, but kind of in between of risk…can get that aortic valve replaced with just an injection in their artery – in their leg,” Lee says.

Lee says the next step in the near future is that the surgery and valve could become a primary option for all patients. This means no incision in the chest and a much shorter hospitalization.

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