Preparing for Your TAVI Procedure

Dental Visit

If you have any of your own teeth and have not seen your dentist in the last six months, book a dental appointment before the valve implant. If your dentist says you need dental work done (i.e., extractions, an infection treated), this needs to be completed before the procedure.

Waiting for a TAVI Procedure

The wait times for TAVI at the Heart Institute are carefully monitored by the TAVI team. The length of time that you are waiting for your TAVI procedure will depend on how urgent your condition is. For people who are in stable health, the average wait time is three to four months.

The Ontario Cardiac Care Network keeps track of TAVI wait times throughout the entire province. If you would like more information about options or wait times at other TAVI centres ask the TAVI Coordinator for details.


You will be notified of your booked procedure date a few weeks in advance. Final confirmation of your date will not occur until the week before.

In some cases, booked TAVI procedures need to be cancelled because there are more urgent patients or other emergencies.

Having your procedure cancelled is very difficult for both you and your family members. The decision to cancel a procedure is not made until e very possible option has been considered. If this happens we will notify you immediately and we will make every effort to reschedule your procedure for the earliest possible date.


The waiting period can be stressful for both you and your family members. It is normal to worry and to have ongoing concerns. If you have questions or concerns about the TAVI procedure or about the wait times, you can contact the TAVI Coordinator at any time during normal business hour s. It is better to get your questions answered early than to wait until the morning of the procedure.

Keep Track of Your Symptoms

Over time, as your aortic stenosis progresses, your symptoms such as tiredness and shortness of breath may worsen and you may find it harder to do your normal everyday activities.

If you experience a gradual worsening of your symptoms, contact your family doctor. You may need to be checked more frequently or some of your medications may need to be adjusted.

Call 9‑1‑1 or go to the nearest emergency department if:

  • you begin to have chest pain or discomfort that is new or is not relieved with nitro spray,
  • you have shortness of breath all the time, even while you are resting,
  • you start to have dizziness that is new or if you have any fainting spells.

If you have a sudden change in your condition, or if you are admitted to the hospital, ask a family member to notify the TAVI coordinator.

Maintain Your Health

Continue to be active every day even if only for short periods of time. Check with your doctor about what level of activity is best for you. Slow down if you become short of breath or feel faint.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Good nutrition before your TAVI is important and may help you to heal more quickly after your procedure. It is important to make sure your body is getting the right nutrition at this time. Here are some tips that will help you eat well before your TAVI procedure.

  • Eat at regular times. Eat breakfast within one to two hours after waking up. Don’t wait too long between your meals. It’s harder to make healthy choices when you’re hungry.
  • Meals don’t have to be complex to be nutritious. It can be as simple as toast with peanut butter, fruit and a glass of milk, or scrambled eggs with whole wheat crackers, sliced tomatoes and a yogurt.
  • Plan healthy snacks. Try whole grain crackers and peanut butter or hummus, a piece of fruit and some cheese, or frozen berries and plain Greek yogurt.
  • Include protein sources at every meal and snack. Try nut butters on your toast. Add canned fish to your salads or chicken to your soups. Cook more meat than you need and freeze the extras. The meat is ready to reheat and add to dishes when you need it.
  • Have easy to prepare meals and snacks readily on hand for when you don’t feel like cooking, such as granola bars, nuts, Greek yogurt, pudding or cheese and crackers. You might want to use a service like Meals on Wheels or ask friends and f amily to help you with groceries and making your meals.
  • Don’t be afraid of fat. You need fat for good health and it adds flavour to your cooking. Use plant-based fats such as olive or canola oil.
  • If your doctor has restricted the amount of fluid and salt in your diet, continue to follow those recommendations.
If You Are Losing Weight Without Trying

Sometimes, when you are feeling sick, you can lose your appetite. You may lose weight quickly and without trying. If you notice this is happening to you, tell your doctor or the TAVI Advanced Practice Nurse. They may refer you to see the registered dietitian in Cardiac Rehab at the Heart Institute.

Below are some tips to help in the meantime.

  • Eat smaller amounts of foods more often. Try eating every two to three hours.
  • Eat more food when your appetite is best.
  • Make every bite count. Eating half of a meal is still better than having nothing.
  • Ideas for nutritious snacks include whole grain crackers and peanut butter or hummus, a piece of fruit and some cheese, frozen berries with granola and plain Greek yogurt or an egg salad, chicken salad or tuna sandwich.
  • Opt for milk, milkshakes, yogurt beverages or nutritional supplements such as Ensure instead of low-energy fluids such as water, broth, tea or coffee.
  • Have easy to prepare meals and snacks readily on hand for when you don’t feel like cooking. Suggestions are granola bars, nuts, Greek yogurt, pudding or cheese and crackers.
  • You might want to use a service like Meals on Wheels or ask friends and f amily to help you with groceries and making your meals.
  • Add fats and oils at each meal. Top your salads, vegetables, pasta or rice with a few teaspoons of liquid oil such as olive or canola. Spread margarine or butter on your bread, vegetables and potatoes. This will increase the energy content of your food.
  • Avoid reduced-fat foods such as foods labelled “light,” “low fat” or “fat free.”
  • Try adding powdered milk to your soups, breakfast cereal, puddings or scrambled eggs for extra protein.

Continue to take all of the medications your doctor has prescribed. Talk to your doctor before starting any new medications or before making changes to your current list.

If you have diabetes, take your diabetes medication the way your doctor prescribed and keep track of your blood sugar.

Plan for Your Discharge and Convalescence After Your TAVI Procedure

The expected length of stay in the hospital after your TAVI procedure is one to four days. Most patients tell us it takes about a month to feel fully recovered. Your discharge plan must ensure help and support is available to start as soon as you are discharged.

If you live alone, arrange for a family member or friend to stay with you for a week after discharge. If this is not possible, consider convalescent care in the community. There are different convalescent options available.

If you need more information about convalescence or if you are worried about discharge, talk to the TAVI Coordinator before you are admitted for your procedure.

Pre-Admission Unit

Once you have a date for your TAVI procedure, you will be scheduled to visit the Pre-Admission Unit (PAU).

The purpose of your appointment at the PAU is:

  1. To meet with the anesthesia doctor and review the best anesthesia options for you and the type of TAVI procedure you are having.
  2. To have the final tests done to ensure you are ready and okay for a TAVI procedure
  3. To do a final check of your medications.
  4. To answer any final questions you may have.

Expect to be at the Heart Institute for about two and a half hours. For your appointment, please bring:

  • All of your medication bottles including any vitamins or supplements.
  • Your provincial health insurance card and proof of any other health insurance.
  • Any walking aids you regularly use.
  • It is also helpful to bring a family member or friend who can help you by taking notes or asking questions.

Before your PAU appointment, the TAVI Advanced Practice Nurse will call you to complete an assessment and to talk to you about the TAVI procedure and what to expect while you are in hospital as well as your plans for discharge and recovery at home.

If you have not heard from the TAVI Advanced Practice Nurse, please call 613-696-7000 x18826.

Preparing for Your Stay at the Heart Institute

Expect to stay at the Heart Institute for about one to four days after your procedure.

When you are admitted, bring only the personal items you will need along with your slippers (with nonslip soles), housecoat, glasses, hearing aid, and any walking aids you use.

Make sure you also bring:

  •  Your health card
  • All of your medications
  • The name and phone number of your contact person

Please bring this guide with you to the Heart Institute. The physiotherapist and the nurses will use it during your stay to guide you and your family as you are recovering from your procedure and preparing to go home.

Leave any valuable items at home. They could be lost or damaged. The Heart Institute is not responsible for loss or damage to personal belongings.

If You Are Coming in on the Same Day as Your Procedure

Most people who have a TAVI procedure come to the Heart Institute the morning of the procedure. Once your procedure date is confirmed, you will be contacted the day before with final instructions about when to come in to the Heart Institute and where to present yourself. If you usually take medications in the morning, ask the staff for final instructions.

If You Are Coming in the Day Before Your Procedure

In some cases, people are admitted the day before their TAVI procedure. If you are asked to come in the day before your procedure, call the Admitting Department at 613-696-7060 between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on the same day you will be admitted to learn when your bed will be available.