University of Minnesota Health Heart Care specialists began performing the TAVR procedure in 2012. TAVR is an alternative to open-heart valve replacement surgery for patients who are at high or intermediate risk. At the University of Minnesota Health Heart Care, a team of specialists will get to know you and your medical history before a TAVR is performed. During the procedure itself, a heart valve is placed on a catheter and advanced through an incision in your leg into an artery that carries it to your heart. This is called a transfemoral procedure. When it is in position, a balloon on the catheter expands the heart valve so the physician can position it properly. The valve can also be placed through an incision between your ribs and into the bottom, or apex, of your heart. This is called a transapical procedure. The TAVR procedure typically provides immediate relief from the aortic stenosis symptoms and a much shorter recovery time than open heart surgery.