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Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Therapy

Pediatric Heart Care

Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Therapy

Contact Information

(608) 263-6420

Pediatric heart physicians at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, implant heart valves through catheterization rather than surgery - called transcatheter pulmonary valve therapy - for some patients with congenital heart defects, including dysfunctional pulmonary valves in the right ventricular outflow tract.

What is transcatheter pulmonary valve therapy?

Some patients have pulmonary valves - responsible for sending blood from the heart to the lungs - that do not function properly and need an artificial valve to improve blood flow.

For this small subset of pediatric patients dysfunctional pulmonary valves in the right ventricular outflow tract, American Family Children's Hospital's Dr. Luke Lamers implants the Melody transpulmonary valve via a catheterization process rather than open heart surgery.

The Procedure

  • The procedure usually takes one to two hours, with the patient under anesthetic.
  • The heart valve is inserted into a vein in the patient's leg and guided to the heart¬†via a thin, flexible tube (the catheter).
  • A small, uninflated balloon expands to deliver the valve to the proper position.
  • The valve directs blood flow between the right ventricle and lungs.
  • The catheter is removed.

 Advantages of Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Therapy

  • Patients are often released from the hospital the day after surgery. Heart surgery patients often are in the hospital for up to a week.
  • Less post-surgical discomfort and quicker recovery.
  • Minimal post-surgical medication: Patients often only require baby aspirin.

More About the Procedure

  • The Melody valve cannot be used for all patients. Please discuss the option with your doctor to see if your child would benefit from the procedure.
  • Because the valve procedure is recently-approved, there is little data to evaluate its long-term efficacy. Please discuss the chance of the valve breaking or malfunctioning with your doctor.