BASILICA Procedure for Safer TAVR

When someone needs an aortic valve replacement, doctors now look to a minimally invasive approach first because of its safety and effectiveness. But some people still face a serious risk from transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR.

That risk prompted our doctors to help create a solution called the BASILICA procedure. We’re one of the few centers in the world pairing this technique with TAVR, when needed.

TAVR and coronary artery obstruction

When someone undergoes TAVR evaluation, scans may show the existing aortic valve has especially long leaflets, the flaps that open and close. Or they may show that the coronary arteries sit particularly close to the aortic valve.

These anatomical quirks aren’t a problem for open heart surgeries, as surgeons remove the old valve. But with TAVR, the replacement valve can push the existing leaflets into the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries become blocked, causing a heart attack, a rare but potentially fatal complication.

Learn more about TAVR.

Understanding the BASILICA procedure

BASILICA’s full name is quite long — bioprosthetic aortic scallop intentional laceration to prevent Iatrogenic coronary artery obstruction. But it has a basic goal, to make TAVR safer by avoiding coronary artery obstruction.

The procedure uses the same catheter, or thin tube, involved in the rest of a TAVR procedure. Before placing the new valve, doctors go through an artery and thread a special, electrified wire to the existing valve. Once there, they use the wire to split the worrisome leaflet in two. Doing so prevents the leaflet from blocking the coronary arteries.

Read about the first person we helped with BASILICA at Henry Ford.

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