Percutaneous or surgical access for transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is an important therapeutic option for patients with symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis at increased risk for open surgical aortic valve replacement. Although a number of alternative vascular access sites have been developed, transfemoral access is overwhelmingly the dominant access strategy for this procedure. Access was achieved in the initial clinical experience primarily via surgical cutdown, but more recently, there has been increasing use of a fully percutaneous approach. This is likely driven by improvements in technology, more experience with large bore vascular closure devices (VCDs), and pressures to reduce hospital length of stay. This review will describe temporal trends of percutaneous versus surgical transfemoral access, identify the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and describe the best practices for achieving safe transfemoral percutaneous access.
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